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Corneal transplantation for inflammatory keratopathies in the horse: Visual outcome in 206 cases (1993–2007)


Address communications to: Dennis E. Brooks Tel.: +1 352 392 2229 Fax: +1 352 294 9867 e-mail:


Objective  To evaluate the visual outcome of three techniques of corneal transplantation surgery in treating severe inflammatory keratopathies in the horse.

Design Retrospective medical records study.

Animals studied  Medical records of 206 horses that received corneal transplantation surgery at the University of Florida Veterinary Medical Center from 1993 to 2007 were reviewed.

Procedure  Data collected from the medical records included signalment, types of ocular lesions, type of transplant surgery performed, length of follow-up, complications, and visual outcomes.

Results  Full thickness penetrating keratoplasty (PK) was performed in 86 horses for melting ulcers, iris prolapse/descemetoceles, and medically nonresponsive full thickness stromal abscesses (SA). Posterior lamellar keratoplasty (PLK) and deep lamellar endothelial keratoplasty (DLEK) are split thickness penetrating keratoplasties that were utilized for medically nonresponsive deep stromal abscesses (DSA) in 54 and 66 eyes, respectively. The most common postoperative surgical complication was graft rejection and varying degrees of graft opacification. Wound dehiscence and aqueous humor leakage was also a common postoperative problem. A positive visual outcome was achieved for PK, PLK, and DLEK in 77.9%, 98.1%, and 89.4%, respectively.

Conclusions  Corneal transplantation is a tectonically viable surgery in the horse with an overall success rate of 88.5% in maintaining vision when treating vascularized and infected corneal disease in the horse.

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