To evaluate the surgical results and the variables affecting the outcomes in conjunctival-limbal allograft transplantation (CLAL).
Patients who underwent CLAL for limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) between 2007 and 2019 were included in the study. LSCD staging was performed according to the staging system developed by the ‘Limbal Stem Cell Working Group’. Stage 1C and higher stage LSCD patients were included in the study. ‘Successful surgical outcome’ was defined as improvement in LSCD stage at 1 year postoperatively.
A total of 19 eyes of 19 LSCD patients were included. The mean age of the patients was 40.21 ± 14.65 (6–65) years, and the male/female ratio was 12/7. CLAL was performed in 9 (47.3%) patients with Stage 2B, 9 (47.3%) patients with Stage 3 and 1 (5.4%) with Stage 1C. LSCD aetiology; chemical injury (12), vernal keratoconjunctivitis (2), aniridia (1), corneal degeneration (1), and unknown (3). Surgery was successful in 52.6% of cases. Surgical success was associated with lower LSCD stage (p = 0.04). Lower grades of chemical injury at presentation and a longer time interval between injury and CLAL were associated with higher surgical success (p = 0.001; p = 0.001). The mean postoperative follow-up time was 50.77 ± 29.46 (6–98) months.
Despite graft rejection and long-term use of immunosuppressants, CLAL is still one of the most preferred techniques in the treatment of bilateral LSCD. Preoperative LSCD stage and degree of chemical burn are important factors affecting the surgical outcome. Also, CLAL surgery should not be rushed and should be performed when inflammation has subsided.
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The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
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Kasikci, M., Korkmaz, I., Palamar, M. et al. Evaluation of the factors that influence surgical outcome in conjunctival-limbal allograft transplantation. Eye (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41433-022-02314-w