Recurrent Keratoconus: Corneal Transplants for Keratoconus Develop Tomographic Ectatic Changes

Maria Miura, Pia Leon, Yoav Nahum, Myriam S. Böhm, Michael Mimouni, Michael W. Belin, Lynette Johns, Joseph B. Ciolino*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose:The purpose of this study was to evaluate postoperative Scheimpflug imaging changes during the first 5 years after penetrating keratoplasty (PK) in patients with keratoconus (KC).Methods:This retrospective, interventional case series includes 31 eyes of 31 patients who underwent their first PK with a history of KC. Postoperative Scheimpflug imaging was performed 3 months after the removal of the last suture (baseline) and then repeated 3 and 5 years after the PK. Demographic data, donor and host trephination diameter, and Scheimpflug imaging (Pentacam HR, Oculus, Germany) parameters indicative of ectasia were analyzed to evaluate postoperative graft changes that occur after PK.Results:The maximal keratometry (Kmax) progressed significantly between baseline (53.5 ± 6.1 D) and postoperative year 3 and year 5 [56.5 ± 6.1 diopter (D) and 58.8 ± 7.9 D, P < 0.001]. Significant changes were also observed for the anterior best fit sphere and posterior best fit sphere (P < 0.001 for 3 and 5 years compared with baseline). Kmax increased by at least 2 Ds for 74.2% of patients and up to 7 Ds or more for 25.8% of the patients. A significant inverse correlation was observed for host trephine size and progression of Kmax (r =-0.52, P = 0.01), which indicated that larger host trephination size was associated with a smaller increase in postoperative Kmax.Conclusions:Tomographic graft changes indicative of ectasia were observed within 3 to 5 years after PK in patients with KC. These changes were observed more frequently and sooner after corneal transplants than previously reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-713
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023


  • ectasia
  • keratoconus
  • keratoplasty
  • recurrence
  • tomography


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