The Open Ophthalmology Journal

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Tectonic Keratoplasty in Patients with Non-traumatic, Non-infectious Corneal Perforations

Ipek Cikmazkara1, Ozlem Barut Selver2, *, Melis Palamar2, Sait Egrilmez3, Ayse Yagci3
1 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Health Sciences Izmir Tepecik Training and Research Hospital, Izmir, Turkey
2 Associate Professor, Ege University, Department of Ophthalmology, Izmir, Turkey
3 Professor, Ege University, Department of Ophthalmology, Izmir, Turkey



The study aims to report clinical results of tectonic keratoplasty for non-traumatic, non-infectious corneal perforations.

Material and Method:

The medical records of 12 patients who underwent tectonic penetrating keratoplasty between October 2014 and August 2018 at Ege University Ophthalmology Department were retrospectively reviewed.


The mean age of the patients was 52.92±30.34 (range, 2-82) years. The causes of corneal perforation were dry eye (neurotrophic keratopathy (n=4), limbal stem cell deficiency (n=2), exposure keratopathy (n=2) and graft versus host disease (n=1)) in 9 patients. In the remaining 3 patients, the etiology of perforation was not determined. The mean visual acuity (VA) was 2.98±0.39 (range, 1.8-3.1) LogMAR before the surgery. Despite conservative treatment, tectonic penetrating keratoplasty had to be performed in all patients in order to manage the perforation. Mean time in between initial examination and surgery was 10.75±12.04 (1-41) days. In 2 patients, allogenic limbal stem cell transplantation; in one patient, lateral tarsorrhaphy and in one patient symblepharon release with amniotic membrane transplantation were performed additional to tectonic keratoplasty. Mean follow-up time was 57.88±55.47 (4-141) weeks. Grafts were clear in 6 eyes and opaque in 5 eyes. The main causes of graft failure among opaque grafts were ocular surface disease (3), allograft rejection (1) and glaucoma-related endothelial failure (1). Phthisis bulbi was detected in one patient with congenital glaucoma due to vitreous loss at the time of perforation. The mean final VA in patients who had clear grafts was 1.83±1.03 (range, 0.8-3.1) LogMAR.


To prevent serious complications in non-traumatic, non-infectious corneal perforations, providing anatomic integrity immediately is a must. If conservative treatment is inadequate or the perforation area is extensive, tectonic penetrating keratoplasty is indicated. Besides, it is important to manage the etiological risk factors in order to obtain successful clinical follow up.

Keywords: Tectonic keratoplasty, Corneal perforation, Graft failure.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2020
Volume: 14
Publisher Item Identifier (PII): BMS-TOOPHTJ-2020-33

Article History:

Electronic publication date: 23/10/2020
Collection year: 2020

© 2020 Cikmazkara et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Ophthalmology, Ege University Faculty of Medicine, 35040 Bornova, Izmir Turkey; Tel: 05056487268; Fax: 90 (232) 388 14 69; E-mail:

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