Autologous transplantation of conjunctiva by modifying simple limbal epithelial transplantation for limbal stem cell deficiency.

Research paper by Tohru T Sakimoto, Akira A Sakimoto, Satoru S Yamagami

Indexed on: 26 Nov '19Published on: 25 Nov '19Published in: Japanese journal of ophthalmology


As a treatment to replace regenerative medicine to treat limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD), we performed 4 consecutive cases of autologous transplantation of conjunctival explants by modifying simple limbal epithelial transplantation (SLET). Single-center case series. Four patients with LSCD were enrolled in this study. After resection of scar tissue with neovascularization from the ocular surface, human amniotic membrane (AM) was placed over the bare ocular surface. The bulbar conjunctiva of the operated eye was dissected at the temporal superior fornix, divided into small pieces, and transplanted onto AM with fibrin glue. Keratoplasty was performed simultaneously or few months after surgery. Epithelialization was achieved in all patients. Best-corrected visual acuity was improved in all patients. This is the first report of ocular surface reconstruction using autologous conjunctival epithelial transplants from the affected eye. Transplantation by modifying SLET effectively restored a clear corneal surface with minimal neovascularization in 4 patients with LSCD. Autologous conjunctival transplants combined with AM transplantation could be a practical option for treating bilateral LSCD in patients without symblepharon or severe keratinization.