Limbal Stem Cell Transplantation

An allograft limbal stem cell transplantation was performed in a patient with persistent severe dry eye syndrome complicated with keratinization of the keratoconjunctival surface secondary to graft-versus host disease. 

  • A surgical modality to replenish or repopulate the ocular surface epithelium in an eye with limbal stem cell deficiency.
  • The transplanted tissue is obtained by lamellar dissection of the limbal and conjunctival tissue.
  • Lifetime immunosuppression is necessary with allograph transplants, typically cyclosporine.
  • Clinical signs of limbal stem cell deficiency:
    • Poor epithelialization of the corneal surface
    • Recurrent erosion
    • Chronic stromal inflammation
    • Corneal neovascularization
    • Conjunctival epithelial ingrowth (conjunctivalization of the cornea)
  • Various causes that may lead to limbal stem cell deficiency include:
    • Thermal or chemical injuries
    • Pterygium
    • Ocular pemphigoid
    • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
    • Multiple surgical procedures involving the limbal region