Application of the SMILE-derived lenticule in therapeutic keratoplasty

  • Hong Yang
  • Yunfan Zhou
  • Hongchao Zhao
  • Jingsong XueEmail author
  • Qin JiangEmail author
Original Paper



To observe the clinical efficacy of the small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE)-derived lenticule patch graft in therapeutic keratoplasty, especially for the treatment of corneal microperforation or partial-thickness corneal defects.


Corneal lenticule obtained from SMILE surgery with diameter greater than 6.5 mm and thickness greater than 100 μm was preserved in a balanced salt solution (Alcon Laboratories, Fort Worth, TX) containing 50 mg/mL penicillin, 50 mg/mL streptomycin, 100 mg/mL neomycin, and 2.5 mg/mL amphotericin for at least 3 months. Preoperatively, anterior segment optical coherence tomography was used to assess the depth of the ulcer and to decide the thickness of the lenticule. Patients were followed up on day 1 and then at 1, 3, and 6 months postoperatively.


Corneal perforation or defects were successfully patched in all 17 eyes; 8 eyes (47%) exhibited improvement postoperative corrected distance visual acuity. During the follow-up period of 6 months, there was no evidence of infection, relapse, or perforation detected in all eyes. Lenticule grafts were attached by graft beds very well and remain clear through to the last follow-up checkup in all eyes treated.


The lenticule patch graft seems to serve as a safe, feasible, and inexpensive surgical option for the treatment of keratohelcosis or partial-thickness corneal defects, especially in small perforation and defects. There are hopeful signs that SMILE-derived lenticule becomes a potential graft for therapeutic keratoplasty.


SMILE Lenticule patch graft Therapeutic keratoplasty Clinical efficacy 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consents were obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthomologyYuxi People’s HospitalYuxiChina
  2. 2.The Fourth School of Clinical MedicineNanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Eye HospitalNanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina

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