PURPOSE: To provide an overview of the current literature on donor tissue preparation for Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK).
METHODS: A comprehensive database search without date restrictions was performed in PubMed and in The Cochrane Library in May, 2017. Keywords included Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty, corneal transplantation, graft, harvest, dissection, preparation, endothelial cell, and endothelial cell density. Articles aiming to describe or evaluate a technique for DMEK graft preparation were considered eligible and were included in this review.
RESULTS: A graft dissection technique that provides consistent tissue qualities and a low risk of preparation failure is essential for surgeons and eye banks preparing DMEK tissue. Various techniques have been described aiming to facilitate DMEK graft dissection, including manual dissection, pneumatic dissection, and hydrodissection. All show a trend toward a no-touch technique, for example, without direct physical tissue manipulation during tissue harvesting, as a potential ideal approach to minimize graft damage.
CONCLUSIONS: An overview of the current harvesting techniques available for DMEK may benefit corneal surgeons and eye banks in choosing the best approach for each specific user.
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