Clinicopathologic correlation of explanted AlphaCor artificial cornea after exposure of implant

Clement C. Chow, Amol D. Kulkarni, Daniel M. Albert, Jason K. Darlington, David R. Hardten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To describe the clinical presentation and histopathologic findings in a case of explantation of an AlphaCor artificial cornea implant caused by exposure of the skirt. METHODS: We describe the case report of a 46-year-old man who suffered trauma to the right eye, resulting in 4 failed penetrating keratoplasties (PKPs). Subsequently, an AlphaCor implantation was performed with some visual improvement. Slightly more than 2 years after the implant, skirt exposure occurred, possibly secondary to infectious keratitis in an area of a ruptured bulla, and explantation was performed. Corneal stability was established with repeat corneal transplantation. RESULTS: Histopathologic evaluation of the surgical specimen revealed chronic nongranulomatous inflammation and fibrosis in the peripheral skirt, indicating that biointegration was maintained. However, peripheral corneal stromal melting led to skirt exposure. Focal calcification, as well as retroprosthetic membrane formation, was also identified. CONCLUSIONS: The AlphaCor implant is a viable method of treatment for multiple failed PKPs, but it may be associated with unique complications, including corneal stromal melting, focal calcification, and retroprosthetic membrane formation. Infectious keratitis may be a risk factor for corneal stromal melting and needs to be managed aggressively. Explantation of the implant is essential if the skirt is exposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1004-1007
Number of pages4
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • AlphaCor artificial cornea
  • Corneal stromal melting
  • Histopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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