Purpose: To determine relationships between vision, forward scatter, and total corneal and graft thicknesses after Descemet stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK). Design: Prospective, cohort study. Methods: Forty-four eyes with Fuchs endothelial dystrophy were examined before and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after DSEK; all eyes were pseudophakic after surgery. Central total corneal and graft thicknesses were measured using confocal microscopy. Best-corrected high-contrast visual acuity (BCVA) was measured using the electronic Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study protocol, and forward light scatter was measured using a straylight meter. Results: Total corneal thickness was 610 ± 50 μm (mean ± standard deviation) before DSEK, increased to 680 ± 74 μm by 1 month after DSEK (P < .001), and stabilized at 660 ± 68 μm by 3 months after DSEK (P = .03 vs 1 month). Graft thickness was 170 ± 57 μm at 1 month, decreased to 157 ± 49 μm by 3 months (P = .004), and then remained stable through 12 months (156 ± 51 μm; P = .99 vs 3 months). BCVA was 0.44 ± 0.21 logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution (logMAR) units (Snellen equivalent, 20/55) before DSEK, improved to 0.26 ± 0.20 logMAR units (Snellen equivalent, 20/36) by 3 months (P < .001), and improved to 0.16 ± 0.16 logMAR units (Snellen equivalent, 20/29) at 12 months (P < .001 vs 3 months). BCVA and forward light scatter did not correlate with corneal or graft thickness after DSEK. Conclusions: Stromal edema resolves by 3 months after DSEK for Fuchs dystrophy, whereas visual acuity continues to improve through 12 months. Thicker corneas and grafts are not associated with worse visual acuity or increased forward scatter.
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