The History of Corneal Transplantation

  • Gabriël van RijEmail author
  • Bart T. H. van Dooren


The concept of corneal transplantation is very old. However, it took many centuries before this miraculous operation could be performed with some success in both animals and humans. Knowledge of the history of keratoplasty is obligatory for a better understanding of modern corneal transplantation.

In the second half of the twentieth century, penetrating keratoplasty became the gold standard in corneal transplantation. Good results became more or less routine, due to a better knowledge of indications for treatment, a better understanding and hence prevention and treatment of allograft rejection and improvements in eye banking, operating microscopes, instruments and suture materials.

The recent two decades have once more seen a paradigm shift towards the selective replacement of only the diseased layers of the cornea. This has resulted in a rapid rise in the popularity of (deep) anterior lamellar and endothelial keratoplasty.


History of keratoplasty Corneal transplantation Penetrating keratoplasty Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK) Endothelial keratoplasty (EK) 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyErasmus Medical CenterRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of OphthalmologyAmphia HospitalBredaThe Netherlands

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