Early Results of Autologous Cultivated Limbal Stem Cell Transplantation in Total Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency
Purpose: To report the early results of transplantation of autologous limbal stem cells cultivated on amniotic membrane (AM) in patients with total unilateral limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD).
Methods: Four eyes of 4 patients with total unilateral LSCD confirmed with impression cytology underwent transplantation of autologous limbal stem cell cultivated on AM. At each follow up visit, a complete eye examination with special attention to recurrence or regression of vascularization, corneal opacification, and epithelial defect healing was performed. Digital imaging was performed at each follow up visit. Impression cytology was repeated in all cases after surgery.
Results: The patients were followed for 5-13 months. Visual acuity improved in all cases. Decrease in corneal opacification and vascularization was obvious in 3 cases with coverage of the cornea with corneal epithelium. Sectoral conjunctivalization was evident in these 3 cases, however the corneas were ready for transplantation. The procedure failed in one case with total corneal conjunctivalization.
Conclusion: Transplantation of autologous stem cells cultivated on AM seems to be an effective way for total LSCD. More definite judgment needs longer follow up together with long-term results of corneal transplantation in these patients.
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