International Ophthalmology

, Volume 39, Issue 11, pp 2685–2696 | Cite as

Systematic review and meta-analysis investigating autograft versus allograft cultivated limbal epithelial transplantation in limbal stem cell deficiency

  • Mohammad Amir Mishan
  • Mehdi Yaseri
  • Alireza Baradaran-Rafii
  • Mozhgan Rezaei KanaviEmail author



Currently, regenerative medicine has attracted much attention among researchers investigating new methods to treat ocular surface diseases. Based on this new concept, cultivated limbal epithelial transplantation (CLET), whether in the form of autograft or allograft, has emerged as a promising surgical procedure for treating limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD). Given that there is no updated comparison between autograft and allograft CLETs, the present review and meta-analysis aims to compare and determine the efficacy of two different CLET techniques, autologous versus allogeneic, based on a literature review of relevant studies.


A comprehensive search of electronic databases, including PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Embase and Scopus, for related articles was performed in March 2018 to obtain relevant articles and to conduct a meta-analysis investigating the success rate of ocular surface regeneration and two-line improvement in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) using autograft versus allograft transplantations.


A total of 30 studies, including 1306 eyes from 1288 patients with LSCD, with a sample size ranging from 6 to 200 and follow-up period of 0.6–156 months, were reviewed. Of 1306 eyes, 982 (75.2%) underwent autograft and 324 (24.8%) received allografts from living or deceased donors. Meta-analysis revealed that there was no significant difference between autograft and allograft CLETs in terms of success rate and two-line BCVA improvement. The prospective studies showed a zero difference between the two groups; only two retrospective studies included in the analysis pulled the autografts up to 1.82 and 1.2 times more than allografts in terms of success rate and two-line BCVA improvement, respectively [pooled OR 1.82 (95% CI 0.80–4.11); pooled OR 1.2 (95% CI 0.54–2.65)]. There was no statistically significant evidence of bias in the meta-analysis in terms of success rates and two-line BCVA improvement.


The present analysis revealed no significant differences in success rates or visual improvement between autograft and allograft surgical techniques.


CLET Cultured limbal epithelial transplantation Limbal stem cell deficiency 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no commercial or proprietary interest in any concept or product described in this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Amir Mishan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mehdi Yaseri
    • 3
  • Alireza Baradaran-Rafii
    • 1
    • 4
  • Mozhgan Rezaei Kanavi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Ocular Tissue Engineering Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Student Research CommitteeShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Ophthalmic Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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