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Research Letter
June 2010

Role for Ipsilateral Autologous Corneas as a Carrier for the Boston Keratoprosthesis: The Africa Experience

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston (Drs Ament and Pineda); Menelick II Hospital, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Dr Tilahun); and Makkah Eye Complex, Makkah Ophthalmic Technical College, Al-Rayad, Khartoum, Sudan (Dr Mudawi).

Arch Ophthalmol. 2010;128(6):795-797. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2010.79

We report the use of the Boston Keratoprosthesis (KPro) with ipsilateral autologous corneas in 4 eyes of 3 patients in Ethiopia and Sudan. Currently, surgery with the KPro is performed using an allograft donor cornea sandwiched between 2 polymethyl methacrylate plates during assembly. Autologous corneas have been used with the Cardona “nut and bolt” prosthesis,1 but to our knowledge no reports on its use with the Boston KPro exist.

This approach is especially important in nonindustrialized nations, where the availability of corneal allograft tissue, operational costs, and high corneal graft failure rates remain significant challenges. Ipsilateral autologous corneas would make the KPro more accessible in these regions. Even without a formal cost-effective analysis, the savings are markedly apparent.