American journal of ophthalmology

Postoperative changes in amniotic membrane as a carrier for allogeneic cultured limbal epithelial transplantation.

PMID 25135224


To investigate the morphologic changes and outcomes of the amniotic membrane as a carrier for allogeneic cultivated limbal epithelial transplantation. Prospective, noncomparative, interventional study. A total of 16 eyes receiving allogeneic cultivated limbal epithelial transplantation with amniotic membrane as a carrier were enrolled. Morphologic changes in the amniotic membrane were observed by confocal microscopy and RTVue optical coherence tomography. The paired t test was employed to compare the mean best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and corneal stromal thickness. Of the 16 eyes, 12 had stable ocular surfaces (group A), while the other 4 eyes had failed surgeries due to immune rejection (group B). Confocal microscopy showed residual amniotic membrane tissues in 8 eyes in group A at 1 year. However, the amniotic membrane was not detected in group B at 8-10 months. RTVue optical coherence tomography showed discontinuous amniotic membrane tissues in all eyes in group A at 1 year, while highly reflective opacity was seen in the corneal stroma in group B. There were no statistically significant differences in mean BCVA and corneal stromal thickness in group A at 1 month and 1 year after transplantation (P > 0.05), but the mean BCVA showed a statistically significant difference at 1 month and after the disappearance of the amniotic membrane in group B (P < 0.05). For eyes with stable ocular surfaces after cultivated limbal epithelial transplantation, the amniotic membrane can be present in the cornea for at least 1 year, with no impact on visual acuity or corneal stromal thickness. Chronic inflammation and neovascularization on the ocular surface may accelerate the disappearance of the amniotic membrane.