Long-Term Review of Penetrating Keratoplasty: A 20-Year Review in Asian Eyes

Published:October 27, 2020DOI:


      To review the long-term outcomes of optical, therapeutic and tectonic forms of penetrating keratoplasty over a 20-year period in Asian eyes.


      Prospective cohort study involving the Singapore Corneal Transplant Study (SCTS).


      All penetrating keratoplasties (PK) performed at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) from January 1991 to December 2010 were analyzed using records from the computerized database of the SCTS. This database includes preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative patient data and donor cornea data. Only primary grafts were included. Patient demographics, donor cornea source, indications for grafting, complications, graft survival rate, and causes of graft failure were analyzed.


      A total of 1,206 primary PKs were performed. The mean age of the patients was 55 years (range: <1-101 years). The overall corneal graft survival rates at 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20 years were 91%, 66.8%, 55.4%, 52%, and 44%, respectively. For optical grafts, pseudophakic bullous keratopathy, postinfectious corneal scarring and thinning and keratoconus were the most common diagnoses. Graft survival for optical grafts was significantly better than therapeutic and tectonic grafts at all time points. Multivariate analysis suggested that a younger donor cornea age and higher donor endothelial cell count are associated with better long-term graft survival for optical grafts. Irreversible allograft rejection and late endothelial failure accounted for more than 60% of graft failures.


      Graft survival decreased over time from 91% at 1 year to 44% at 20 years' follow-up. Allograft rejection and late endothelial failure accounted for more than 60% of graft failures.
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