The Homburg cross-stitch marker, according to Suffo, was developed in 2017 in the Department of Ophthalmology at Saarland University Medical Center. With this instrument, a surgeon can precisely define and mark the points of the first and second continuous cross-stitch sutures, according to Hoffmann. The aim of this retrospective study was to compare the functional outcomes of Hoffmann’s double continuous cross-stitch suture in penetrating keratoplasty (PKP) with vs without the Homburg cross-stitch marker in inexperienced surgeons.
A total of 130 eyes from 130 patients with central corneal scars, corneal dystrophies and advanced keratoconus were included. All eyes underwent elective excimer laser-assisted penetrating keratoplasty (excimer laser PKP) with a diameter of 8.0/8.1mm. In 65 eyes each, surgery was performed without (group 1) or with (group 2) the Homburg cross-stitch marker. Corrected distance visual acuity, topographic astigmatism, and refractive cylinder were obtained 6 weeks, 10 months post-PKP as well as 6 weeks after the first and after the second suture removal, respectively. The rate of early postoperative single interrupted suture addition was compared between the two groups.
Visual acuity, astigmatism and refractive cylinder values were significantly more favorable in group 2 (with device) compared to group 1 (without device) before and after suture removal. Postoperative single interrupted suture addition was performed in 34.4% of patients in group 1 compared to 10.6% in group 2 ( = 0.001, Fisher’s Exact Test).
The use of the Homburg cross-stitch marker for excimer laser PKP in young cornea specialists results in significantly better visual acuity before and after suture removal, significantly lower astigmatism and cylinder value before suture removal, as well as a reduced necessity of early postoperative single interrupted suture addition.

© 2021 Suffo et al.