Descemetorhexis Without Endothelial Keratoplasty in Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Cornea. 2021 Dec 8. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000002855. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Descemetorhexis without endothelial keratoplasty (DWEK) is an innovative corneal intervention and potentially effective against Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD). We aimed to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis on the outcomes of DWEK, associated or not with phacoemulsification (PKE) and rho-kinase inhibitor (RHOKI) in FECD.

METHOD: PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase,, and Science Direct were searched for studies until November 29, 2020. We performed random-effects meta-analyses and meta-regressions, stratified by the type of intervention and descemetorhexis size (PROSPERO CRD42020167566).

RESULTS: We included 11 articles (mainly case series, both prospective and retrospective), representing 127 eyes of 118 patients. DWEK globally improved visual acuity (effect size = -1.11, 95% confidence interval, -1.70 to -0.52, P < 0.001) and pachymetry (-1.25, -1.92 to -0.57, P < 0.001), without significant effects on endothelial cell count (-0.59, -2.00 to 0.83, P = 0.419). The 3 types of interventions (ie, DWEK ± RHOKI, DWEK ± PKE, and DWEK ± PKE ± RHOKI) improved visual acuity and pachymetry in FECD. A descemetorhexis size ≤4 mm improved visual acuity (-0.72, -1.29 to -0.14, P < 0.001) and pachymetry (-0.68, -0.98 to -0.38, P < 0.001), whereas >4 mm did not. Overall, DWEK failure (ie, the prevalence of EK after DWEK) was 17% (7%-27%, P < 0.001), with 4% (0%-8%, P = 0.08) for a descemetorhexis size ≤4 mm.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the lack of comparative studies, DWEK seemed to improve visual acuity and pachymetry in early stages of FECD. A descemetorhexis size ≤4 mm was associated with the best visual outcomes and pachymetry.

PMID:34879044 | DOI:10.1097/ICO.0000000000002855

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