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Corneal Graft in a Cat

Townsend, W. M., A. J. Rankin, et al. (2008). “Heterologous penetrating keratoplasty for treatment of a corneal sequestrum in a cat.” Veterinary Ophthalmology 11(4): 273-278.

Penetrating keratoplasty is a full-thickness corneal graft technique used to replace central corneal tissue damaged by disease or injury with healthy corneal tissue from a donor. Corneal transplants are commonly done in human medicine, but are rare in veterinary medicine. Corneal sequestrum is a condition unique to the cat where necrosis of the corneal stroma occurs. The dead stroma becomes pigmented and may spontaneously slough, leaving a corneal ulcer. The condition has gone under many names over the years (e.g., corneal mummification, corneal nigrum, kertatitis nigrum, corneal necrosis). The cause is unknown and the condition is believed to be painful. Treatment approaches vary according to the severity of the lesion, and may include superficial keratectomy. In this case report, a corneal sequestrum was diagnosed in an 8-year-old neutered male Burmese cat. In order to restore vision, a penetrating keratoplasty was performed. The graft was performed with fresh canine corneal tissue (heterograft) in order to decrease the risk of viral transmission from using a feline donor. The graft was successful, with final follow up 16 months postoperatively.
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Related articles:
Featherstone, H., V. Franklin, et al. (2004). “Feline corneal sequestrum: laboratory analysis of ocular samples from 12 cats.” Vet Ophthalmol 7(4): 229-238.
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Featherstone, H. and J. Sansom (2004). “Feline corneal sequestra: a review of 64 cases (80 eyes) from 1993 to 2000.” Vet Ophthalmol 7(4): 213-227.
>> PubMed Abstract