Recent advances in ocular surface reconstruction for patients with severe ocular surface diseases have significantly improved the prognosis of patients with vision-impairing corneal abnormalities. The history of cultivated epithelial sheet transplantation is short, and debate on the current approaches for these procedures is continuing. Limbal stem cell transplantation, including conjunctivolimbal autograft and keratolimbal allograft, has brought opportunities for vision improvement. In addition, the use of cultivated limbal epithelial transplantation from both allogeneic and autologous sources has provided further options for immediate postoperative epithelialization of the corneal surface. Finally, cultivated oral mucosal epithelial transplantation, which allows autologous transplantation for patients with bilateral limbal stem cell deficiency, has provided the best overall midterm and long-term results. Its biggest advantages are the absence of rejection reactions and the reduction of postoperative complications associated with steroid therapy. However, a solitary surgical approach is not sufficient for obtaining a good clinical outcome. To maximize the possibility of success using these procedures, it is important to preoperatively enhance aggressive treatment of the ocular surface, especially with factors that facilitate moisture retention. In this review article, we also discuss our clinical experience in relation to these surgical procedures.
- Epithelial sheet transplantation
- Limbal stem cells
- Ocular surface reconstruction
ASJC Scopus subject areas