Pediatric Keratoprosthesis

James V. Aquavella, Matthew D. Gearinger, Esen K. Akpek, Gregory J. McCormick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe the authors' experience using keratoprosthesis to treat pediatric corneal opacity. Design: Nonrandomized, consecutive, retrospective interventional series. Participants: Twenty-two eyes of 17 children with opaque corneas as a result of primary congenital disease and or previous failed keratoplasty. Methods: A retrospective review of pediatric patients with a history of corneal opacification treated with keratoprosthesis surgery. Main Outcome Measures: Intraocular pressure, inflammation, clarity of the visual axis, visual acuity, refraction, complications, and retention of the prosthesis. Results: Twenty-two eyes of 17 patients 1.5 to 136 months of age underwent 23 keratoprosthesis procedures. The follow-up period was 220 patient months (range, 1-37 months; mean, 9.7 months). In both cases implanted with the AlphaCor (Argus Biomedical Pty. Ltd., Perth, Australia), the keratoprosthesis was not retained. In one instance, the prosthesis sustained traumatic dislocation and was replaced with a cadaver cornea. In the second instance, the intralamellar implant began to extrude and was replaced with a Boston keratoprosthesis. In all 21 Boston cases, the prosthesis was retained without dislocation or extrusion. The visual axis remained clear in 100% of cases, although retroprosthetic membranes were removed in 5 eyes. Reoperation was necessitated for management of concurrent glaucoma (n = 3) or retinopathy (n = 2). There were no instances of surface infection or endophthalmitis. In 7 instances where patient age was 4 years or more, visual acuity ranged from counting fingers to 20/30. In the remaining cases, all infants were able to follow light, fingers, and objects. Intraocular pressure was controlled in all cases. Conclusions: Implantation of the Boston keratoprosthesis rapidly establishes and maintains a clear optical pathway and does not prejudice management of concurrent glaucoma or retinopathy. The device is retained without extrusion or rejection and is appropriate for the management of pediatric corneal opacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)989-994
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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