“PI-less DMEK”: results of Descemet’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) without a peripheral iridotomy

Eitan Livny, Irit Bahar, Issac Levy, Michael Mimouni*, Yoav Nahum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose:: To assess Descemet’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) without performing a peripheral iridotomy (PI) prior to or during surgery (“PI-less DMEK”). Materials and methods:: This retrospective study included consecutive patients that underwent PI-less DMEK by a single surgeon (E.L) between February 2016 and February 2017 at the Rabin Medical Center, a Tertiary Hospital. Intraoperative and postoperative complications were assessed. Results:: Thirty-one patients, mean age 75.9 ± 7.9 years with 58.1% female were included. Leading indications for surgery were pseudophakic bullous keratopathy (18/31) and Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy (9/31). Preoperative best-corrected distance visual acuity was 1.13 ± 0.59 logMAR (~6/80 Snellen). For 12/31 that had postoperative endothelial cell count measurements, cell loss was 49 ± 20%. Intraoperative complications included anterior chamber (AC) hyphema during graft insertion requiring reinsertion (n = 1), and minor hyphema from the main corneal incision (n = 1). Partial slit lamp gas evacuation was performed in all patients 1.5 h postoperatively. Postoperative complications included partial graft detachment requiring rebubbling (n = 5), self-resolving minimal peripheral graft detachment (n = 5), uncontrolled intraocular hypertension requiring trabeculectomy in a patient with a history of medically controlled glaucoma (n = 1), postoperative cystoid macular edema that resolved medically (n = 1) and graft failure 5 months postoperatively (n = 1). No patients developed pupillary block. Excluding graft failure (n = 1), preoperative amblyopia (n = 2) and premature loss to follow-up (n = 1), final corrected distance visual acuity was 0.18 ± 0.14 logMAR (~20/30 Snellen) with 44.4% reaching 6/7.5 (Snellen) or more. Conclusions:: PI-Less DMEK is a safe, technically easy, and effective modification that avoids the time and complications associated with performing a PI before or during surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-658
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2019


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