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Epidemiology
May 2012

Trends in the Indications for Corneal Graft Surgery in the United Kingdom: 1999 Through 2009

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: School of Biomedicine, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester (Dr Keenan), and Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (Drs Keenan and Carley), Manchester, and National Health Service Blood and Transplant, Watford (Mr Jones and Ms Rushton), England.

Arch Ophthalmol. 2012;130(5):621-628. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2011.2585
Abstract

Objective To examine trends in the indications for corneal graft surgery in the United Kingdom.

Methods National Health Service Blood and Transplant data were analyzed for keratoplasty operations performed in the United Kingdom between April 1, 1999, and March 31, 2009, distinguishing the type of graft and the surgical indication.

Results The total number of annual keratoplasty operations increased from 2090 in 1999-2000 to 2511 in 2008-2009. Among these, the annual number of grafts performed for endothelial failure increased from 743 (35.6%) in 1999-2000 to 939 (37.4%) in 2008-2009. The performance of penetrating keratoplasty (PK) for endothelial failure decreased from 98.3% of all grafts in 1999-2000 to 46.6% of all grafts in 2008-2009, while the performance of endothelial keratoplasty increased from 0.3% of all grafts in 1999-2000 to 51.2% of all grafts in 2008-2009. The annual number of grafts performed for keratoconus increased from 514 (24.6%) in 1999 to 564 (22.5%) in 2008-2009. The performance of PK for keratoconus decreased from 88.4% of all grafts in 1999-2000 to 57.1% of all grafts in 2008-2009, while the performance of deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty increased from 8.8% of all grafts in 1999-2000 to 40.1% of all grafts in 2008-2009. The number of annual regraft operations increased from 249 (11.9%) in 1999-2000 to 401 (16.0%) in 2008-2009, most commonly for endothelial failure. In 2008-2009, PK regrafts (78.1%) far outnumbered endothelial keratoplasty regrafts (17.0%).

Conclusions Endothelial failure is the most common indication for keratoplasty in the United Kingdom, and endothelial keratoplasty is performed more commonly than PK for this indication. The number of grafts performed for pseudophakic bullous keratopathy has remained stable, while the number of grafts performed for Fuchs endothelial dystrophy is likely to continue increasing. Keratoconus is the second most common indication for keratoplasty, and deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty numbers are approaching those for PK. Regraft surgery is the third most common indication for keratoplasty, required in most cases because of endothelial failure.

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