In severely compromised and vascularized high-risk eyes, the Boston keratoprosthesis procedure is often the last treatment option. The transparency of the optics is not impaired by endothelial immune reactions.
This review article discusses relevant literature as well as our own data and experiences with the Boston keratoprosthesis in high-risk eyes. The relevant complications as well as the postoperative management are discussed.
In more than 60% of the high-risk eyes a long-term increase in visual acuity can be achieved. Keratoprosthesis retention rates show a variable span with reported mean 5‑year retention rates of 75%. The most common postoperative complications include the formation of a retroprosthetic membrane and keratolysis in up to 50% each. More than 70% of the eyes already suffer from (secondary) glaucoma preoperatively, so that glaucoma surgery is performed simultaneously in at least 20% of cases and in the postoperative course further antiglaucomatous surgery is necessary in up to 31%. Vitreoretinal complications include, in particular, sterile vitritis and infectious endophthalmitis but persistent hypotonia is also described in one third of patients.
The Boston keratoprosthesis is an alternative to conventional corneal replacement if the prognosis for allogeneic transplants is poor. Postoperative complications are common; therefore, postoperative management plays an important role. For vascularized high-risk eyes, however, it is often the only remaining option for visual rehabilitation.