Donor-Related Risk Factors for Graft Decompensation Following Descemet's Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty

Sota Nishisako, Takefumi Yamaguchi, Masatoshi Hirayama, Kazunari Higa, Dai Aoki, Chiaki Sasaki, Hisashi Noma, Jun Shimazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aims: To identify donor-related risk factors associated with graft endothelial failure and postoperative endothelial cell density (ECD) reduction after Descemet's stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK). Methods: This was a single-center retrospective study conducted from July 2006-December 2016. We included 584 consecutive eyes (482 patients) that underwent DSAEK for the treatment of laser iridotomy-related bullous keratopathy (192 eyes), pseudophakic bullous keratopathy (137 eyes), regraft (96 eyes), Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD; 59 eyes) and others (100 eyes). Twenty-three donor- and recipient-related risk factors potentially associated with graft failure and ECD reduction were assessed using Cox hazard models and linear mixed effect models. Results: The median age of the patients was 73.5 years (male; 35.6%). After DSAEK, ECD decreased from 2,674 cells/mm2 (95% confidence interval [CI]; 2,646–2,701) to 1,132 (1,076–1,190) at 12 months and 904 (845–963) at 24 months (P < 0.001). Fifty-five eyes (9.4%) had graft endothelial failure without rejection. This failure was associated with donor pseudophakic lens status (hazard ratio [HR]; 2.67, CI; 1.50–4.76, P = 0.001) and preoperative endothelial folds (HR; 2.82, CI; 1.20–6.62, P = 0.02). The incidence of graft endothelial failure in non-FECD patients was significantly higher among those receiving donor grafts with a pseudophakic lens status and preoperative presence of endothelial folds (P < 0.001). Postoperative ECD loss was significantly greater in eyes with these risk factors compared to those without (P = 0.007). Conclusions: Pseudophakic status and/or presence of preoperative endothelial folds are the significant donor risk factors for endothelial failure in non-FECD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number810536
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb 4
Externally publishedYes


  • Descemet's stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK)
  • donor pseudophakic lens status
  • donor-related risk factors
  • non-fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy patients
  • preoperative endothelial folds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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