The study aimed to develop new surgical methods of obtaining and preserving pre-Descemet’s endothelial keratoplasty (PDEK) graft in order to reduce the loss of donor material.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The study was conducted on 30 sclerocorneal discs, which were divided into three groups. The first group consisted of 10 sclerocorneal discs to which the standard PDEK graft preparation technique was applied. The second group consisted of 10 sclerocorneal discs, where the PDEK graft preparation was done using the optimized method 1 involving the KD Ring fixator, KD Base for PDEK, KD-30G needle with 5 mL syringe connected to the spring-load plunger, a preservative solution. The third group consisted of 10 sclerocorneal discs with PDEK graft prepared using the optimized method 2, which differed from the optimized method 1 in additional use of the KD artificial chamber for PDEK. When successfully acquiring the type-1 “big bubble”, the dissected PDEK graft was preserved for further use in clinical practice using our own technique.
In the first group, formation of the type-1 «big bubble» was achieved only in 5 out of 10 donor corneas (50%). Bubble ruptures happened in 4 cases (40%) and type-2 «big bubble» occurred in 1 case (10%). In the second group (optimized method 1) the type-1 «big bubble» was achieved in 9 cases (90%), while in the third group (optimized method 2) the type-1 «big bubble» was achieved in 10 cases (100%), proving the effectiveness of our PDEK graft preparation technique.
We presented a novel surgical approach for acquiring and preserving PDEK graft that minimizes almost all the difficulties that surgeons face, including bubble rupture during pneumodissection and hydrodissection, formation of type-2 and mixed type bubble, and obtaining a PDEK graft of the required size; the details of the surgical technique have been refined. The proposed technique for graft preparation and preservation can be easily implemented in eye banks and is convenient for clinical practice.