Tectonic Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty for the management of corneal perforation: a case series

Abdo Karim Tourkmani, Abdus Samad Ansari, Parwez N. Hossain, Aris Konstantopoulos, David Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Corneal perforations pose a considerable challenge for ophthalmic surgeons. The aim remains restoring the anatomical integrity of eye while attempting to preserve as much visual function as possible. To our knowledge, we report the first case series of 4 successful tectonic Descemet stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK) grafts completed for acute corneal perforation. In all cases, restoration of globe integrity was achieved. In cases where visual potential remained, deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty over DSEK was offered.

Methods: Four patients presenting to Royal Gwent Hospital (Newport, Wales) with corneal perforation were included. Etiological origins included exposure keratopathy, corneal hydrops secondary to pellucid marginal degeneration with fistulization-associated aqueous leak, and herpetic keratitis. Patients were treated with initial temporary therapies, including glue patch, the use of bandage contact lenses, amniotic membrane transplant, and antibiotic cover, depending on the size and location of the perforation. Subsequent DSEK was subsequently performed under local anesthesia.

Results: All patients had successful tectonic grafts (3 DSEKs and 1 hemi-DSEK) up to 4 months postoperatively. In the case involving a hemi-DSEK, the patient underwent 2 refloating attempts of the graft before anchoring suture placement because of repeated graft detachment. Successful graft placement and tectonic globe restoration was confirmed by anterior segment imaging.

Conclusions: Tectonic DSEK provides corneal surgeons with a new modality of treating corneal perforations. It provides clinicians an additional tool in their armamentarium in complex cases where anterior lamellar or penetrating keratoplasty may be contraindicated or deemed high risk of complications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1571-1575
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • DSEK
  • perforation
  • cornea
  • HSK
  • hydrops


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