An article co-authored by Dr. Alanna Nattis
Research has found that adult stem cells can be “moderately effective” in the treatment of advanced keratoconus. A nonrandomized series showed that intrastromal implantation of autologous adipose-derived adult stem cells, with or without sheets of decellularized donor human corneal stroma, was moderately effective for the treatment of advanced keratoconus and did not result in complications at approximately one year of follow up.
Current standard care for keratoconus management, aside from spectacles, contact lenses, and intracorneal ring segments, consists of collagen crosslinking and corneal transplantation. Although further research is needed to ensure that the cornea will remain stable for several years, Dr. Nattis proceeds to explain how having additional techniques can be beneficial to patients that do not qualify for crosslinking or transplantation. In order to move forward with adult stem cells, more data must be collected to ensure that there is no evidence of rejection, late scarring, haze or increased ectasia.
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