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Lucky Inserter: Re-envisioning Corneal Transplants for Canines

Team Members:
  • Batya Wiener
  • Allen O. Eghrari, MD
  • Micki Armour, MD
  • Jessica Dunleavey, PhD
  • Sarah Lee, MS


The goal of this study was to present a comprehensive overview of endothelial dystrophy as it occurs in canines and analysis of veterinary sentiment towards current surgical interventions that mitigate symptoms and/or cure CED. In order to measure veterinarian sentiment, a survey was distributed to the college of veterinary ophthalmologists. The survey received responses from 61 board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists, equivalent to over 20% of the total number of veterinary ophthalmologists in the college. Based on the responses gathered from the sample population, the prevalence of CED was calculated to be 1.91%. Of those canines diagnosed with CED, 9.81% were treated with surgical intervention. The most prevalent surgical intervention to treat CED was Superficial Keractectomy and Conjunctival Advancement Hood Flap (SKCAHF), though it does not mitigate pain or restore vision to the canine. None of the respondents had performed Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK), though 95.2% either agreed that DSEK was the next evolution in treatment of CED (N=42). When asked whether there is a lack of devices to adopt the technique in practice, 69% of respondents indicated that they agreed or strongly agreed (N=42). There persists a gap in care for canines. Veterinarians showed enthusiasm for DSEK, though none had implemented the procedure in practice. A primary reason for this appears to be a lack of devices to support the veterinarian in executing the procedure. The Luna Inserter would store and deliver canine corneal tissue to facilitate DSEK. The approach would offload difficult graft preparation and manipulation steps required for DSEK to an eye bank technician.

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