Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty in Eyes With Chronic Ocular Hypotony Following Glaucoma Surgery

Eitan Livny*, Michael Mimouni, Nir Sorkin, Irit Bahar, David S. Rootman, Yoav Nahum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To assess the outcomes of Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) in patients with ocular hypotony after glaucoma surgery. Design: retrospective case series. Methods: Setting: Multicenter retrospective case series. Patients/Intervention: Hypotonic eyes with prior glaucoma surgery that underwent DMEK between January 2013 and July 2019 in Israel (2 centers) and Canada (1 center). Main Outcome Measures: Pre/postoperative corrected distance visual acuity, complications, 3- to 6-month endothelial cell loss, and intraocular pressure (IOP). Results: The study included 11 DMEK procedures performed in 10 eyes of 4 males and 6 females aged 65-84 years. Indications for DMEK included 7 cases of pseudophakic bullous keratopathy, 2 cases of failed DMEK, and 1 case of failed Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty. All patients had at least 1 previous trabeculectomy operation. One patient had 2 trabeculectomy procedures and 1 tube placement procedure. Two patients had 1 previous trabeculectomy and 1 tube placement procedure. The corrected distance visual acuity improved significantly from 1.52 ± 0.68 logarithm of minimal angle of resolution preoperatively to 0.49 ± 0.32 logarithm of minimal angle of resolution 3 months postoperatively (P < .001). Rebubbling occurred in 3 of 11 procedures (27%). Endothelial cell loss 6-12 months postoperatively was 60% ± 16% (range, 41%-89%). At the last follow-up visit, 6 of 11 (54%) of the grafts were clear. The remaining 5 grafts failed at 1-4 years postoperatively. The preoperative IOP was 5.1 ± 1.6 mm Hg (range, 1-7 mm Hg). In all but one patient, the postoperative IOP did not increase to more than 13 mm Hg. In 2 cases, the IOP decreased from 5 and 7 mm Hg preoperatively to 1 mm Hg 1 year postoperatively. Conclusion: DMEK is a valid procedure for the treatment of corneal edema in hypotonic eyes after glaucoma procedures. These eyes benefit from improvement in vision after DMEK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-263
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


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