Researchers recently found that a conjunctival limbal autograft (CLAU) can provide long-term ocular surface stability and good visual outcomes for patients with unilateral total limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD).

This retrospective, interventional case series evaluated 27 eyes that were followed for a mean of 49.8±36.6 months. The main outcome measures were ocular surface stability, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and postoperative complications.

The team achieved ocular surface stability in 77.8% of eyes, while 22.2% developed partial surface failure. They performed penetrating or deep lamellar anterior keratoplasty in 44.5% of eyes, noting that BCVA improved from 1.42±0.95 mean logMAR (equivalent to 20/400) preoperatively to 0.53±0.47 mean logMAR (equivalent to 20/70) at last follow-up. They add that 44.5% of eyes eventually reached BCVA ≥ 20/40. The study noted two significant side effects: microbial keratitis in 14.8% of eyes and ocular hypertension secondary to corticosteroid use in 25.9%. The researchers found no other complications in the donor or recipient eyes.

Eslani M, Cheung AY, Kurji K, et al. Long-term outcomes of conjunctival limbal autograft in patients with unilateral total limbal stem cell deficiency. Ocul Surf. September 6, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].