PURPOSE: To describe a minimally invasive surgical technique and its clinical outcomes with the use of acellular nerve allograft to re-establish corneal sensibility in patients with neurotrophic keratopathy. METHODS: Acellular nerve allograft was coapted to an intact supraorbital, supratrochlear, or infraorbital nerve and transferred to the affected eye. Donor nerve pedicles were isolated through a transpalpebral or transconjunctival approach. Retrospective evaluation of preoperative and postoperative corneal sensibility, ocular surface, and best-corrected visual acuity was performed in all patients. Mean follow-up period was 6 months (range: 3-10 months). RESULTS: Corneal neurotization with acellular nerve allograft was successfully performed in 7 patients with restoration of corneal sensibility and corneal epithelial integrity. In vivo confocal microscopy demonstrated increased nerve density in corneal stroma at 4 months after surgery. CONCLUSIONS: The use of acellular nerve allograft allows for a minimally invasive approach to successful corneal neurotization.
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