Effect of bilateral and unilateral grafts on the incidence of rejections in keratoconus

Peter C. Donshik, Harrison D Cavanagh, S. Arthur Boruchoff, Claes H. Dohlman

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We studied results of 124 keratoplasties in 100 keratoconus patients; 61 men and 39 women varying in ages from 11 to 69 years with an average age of 30 years. Twenty-four patients had bilateral grafts with a 27% incidence of rejection, and 76 patients had unilateral grafts with a 13% incidence of rejection (P < .01). Data analysis of the first year after the graft of first eyes and subsequent years after the graft of first and second eyes, however, revealed a nearly fourfold increase of rejections following second grafts, with a 17% increased chance of rejection for the first graft after the second was implanted. Only two of the bilateral and two of the unilateral grafts were irreversibly lost because of graft reaction. The major complication was the formation of posterior subcapsular cataract, which occurred in approximately 32% of the patients. The final postkeratoplasty visual acuities were significantly improved. In the patients who did not develop a cataract, 86% achieved visual acuity of 6/12 (20/40) or better. In the patients who did develop cataracts, 68% achieved visual acuity of 6/12 (20/40) or better.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-826
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1979


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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