Researchers recently observed long-term improvement in the visual acuity, ocular surface environment and keratopathy after autologous minor salivary gland transplantation (MSGT) in patients with severe dry eye caused by cicatrizing conjunctivitis.

This retrospective case series included 21 eyes of 19 patients who underwent MSGT and were followed for a median duration of three years. The procedure included the harvesting of a 20mm x 15mm mucosa-gland-muscle complex and fixating the glands to the superior bulbar surface anchored to the superior rectus muscle.

The team reported a median improvement in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) from a baseline value of 20/500 to 20/125 one year and 20/80 three years after surgery. They noted that the proportion of cases with a BCVA ≥20/200 improved from 38% at baseline to 67% at one year, 78% at two years and 93% at three years. They added that there was a significant improvement in Schirmer’s scores, conjunctival and corneal staining scores and corneal neovascularization and opacification grades after surgery. They found no serious sight-threatening complications in the transplanted eyes or at the donor site.

Vazirani J, Bhalekar S, Amescua G, et al. Minor salivary gland transplantation for severe dry eye disease due to cicatrising conjunctivitis: multicentre long-term outcomes of a modified technique. Br J Ophthalmol. September 16, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].