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Jan O. Pralits, Mark Alberti, Javier Cabrerizo; Gas-Graft Coverage After DMEK: A Clinically Validated Numeric Study. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2019;8(6):9. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.6.9.
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We investigate the influence of positioning, gas fill, and anterior chamber size on bubble configuration and graft coverage after Descemet's membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK).
We use a mathematical model to study the bubble shape and graft coverage in eyes of varying anterior chamber depths (ACD). The governing equations are solved numericly using the open source software OpenFOAM. Numeric results are validated clinically so that clinical gas fill measures can be correlated with numeric results providing gas-graft coverage information otherwise clinically inaccessible.
In a phakic eye (ACD = 2.65 mm) with a gas fill of 35%, graft contact ranged from 35% to 38% depending on positioning and increased to 85% to 92% with a 70% fill. In contrast, positioning of a pseudophakic eye (ACD = 4.35) with a gas fill of 35% results in graft contact ranging from 8% to 52%, increasing to 63% to 94% with a 70% fill. The mathematical model demonstrates negligible differences between air and SF6 results and interestingly, a very thin central patch of aqueous humor within the gas bubble is found in some cases.
Graft coverage in phakic eyes (ACD ≤ 3 mm) is dominated by the gas fill and less sensitive to patient positioning. In pseudophakic eyes with larger values of ACD, the graft coverage depends on gas fill and patient positioning with positioning even more important as ACD increases.
Anterior chamber depth markedly influences the role of patient positioning in gas-filled eyes after DMEK due to the interplay between anterior chamber anatomy and gas bubble morphology.
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