, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 501-504
Date: 08 Dec 2011

Histological study of graft failure in AlphaCor transplantation

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To report clinical and histopathologic findings in a case of a failed AlphaCor artificial cornea explanted due to corneal stromal melting. We describe the case of a 77-year-old man who received multiple penetrating keratoplasties (PKPs) and subsequent placement of an AlphaCor artificial cornea. Examination showed total corneal infiltration as well as an AlphaCor that was partially dehisced from the host cornea. After explantation, the implant and adjacent host tissue underwent hematoxylin and eosin staining and high-resolution scanning electron microscopy (HR-SEM). Histopathologic analysis of the specimens revealed infiltration of the skirt pores by reactive corneal fibroblasts. Although the AlphaCor implant is an established method of treating multiple failed PKPs, in this case, HR-SEM imaging strongly suggests that the strength of the interface between the implant and corneal tissue is highly dependent on collagen deposition between the pores found in the implant skirt. Collagen deposition then increases the mechanical strength of the cornea–skirt interface.