Water soluble "vital" dyes are commonly used clinically to evaluate health of the ocular surface; however, staining mechanisms remain poorly understood. Recent evidence suggests that sublethal damage stimulates vital dye uptake by individual living cells. Since cell damage can also stimulate reparative plasma membrane remodeling, we hypothesized that dye uptake occurs via endocytic vesicles. In support of this idea, we show here that application of oxidative stress to relatively undifferentiated monolayer cultures of human corneal epithelial cells stimulates both dye uptake and endocytosis, and that dye uptake is blocked by co-treatment with three different endocytosis inhibitors. Stress application to stratified and differentiated corneal epithelial cell cultures, which are a better model of the ocular surface, also stimulated dye uptake; however, endocytosis was not stimulated, and two of the endocytosis inhibitors did not block dye uptake. The exception was Dynasore and its more potent analogue Dyngo-4a, both small molecules developed to target dynamin family GTPases, but also having off-target effects on the plasma membrane. Significantly, while Dynasore blocked stress-stimulated dye uptake at the ocular surface of ex vivo mouse eyes when treatment was performed at the same time as eyes were stressed, it had no effect when used after stress was applied and the ocular surface was already damaged. Thus, Dynasore could not be working by inhibiting endocytosis. Employing cytotoxicity and western blotting assays, we went on to demonstrate an alternative mechanism. We show that Dynasore is remarkably protective of cells and their surface glycocalyx, preventing damage due to stress, and thus precluding dye entry. These unexpected and novel findings provide greater insight into the mechanisms of vital dye uptake and point the direction for future study. Significantly, they also suggest that Dynasore and its analogues might be used therapeutically to protect the ocular surface and to treat ocular surface disease.
PURPOSE: To update the 2008 International Classification of Corneal Dystrophies (IC3D) incorporating new clinical, histopathologic, and genetic information. METHODS: The IC3D reviewed worldwide peer-reviewed articles for new information on corneal dystrophies published between 2008 and 2014. Using this information, corneal dystrophy templates and anatomic classification were updated. New clinical, histopathologic, and confocal photographs were added. RESULTS: On the basis of revisiting the cellular origin of corneal dystrophy, a modified anatomic classification is proposed consisting of (1) epithelial and subepithelial dystrophies, (2) epithelial-stromal TGFBI dystrophies, (3) stromal dystrophies, and (4) endothelial dystrophies. Most of the dystrophy templates are updated. The entity "Epithelial recurrent erosion dystrophies" actually includes a number of potentially distinct epithelial dystrophies (Franceschetti corneal dystrophy, Dystrophia Smolandiensis, and Dystrophia Helsinglandica) but must be differentiated from dystrophies such as TGFBI-induced dystrophies, which are also often associated with recurrent epithelial erosions. The chromosome locus of Thiel-Behnke corneal dystrophy is only located on 5q31. The entity previously designated as a variant of Thiel-Behnke corneal dystrophy on chromosome 10q24 may represent a novel corneal dystrophy. Congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED, formerly CHED2) is most likely only an autosomal recessive disorder. The so-called autosomal dominant inherited CHED (formerly CHED1) is insufficiently distinct to continue to be considered a unique corneal dystrophy. On review of almost all of the published cases, the description appeared most similar to a type of posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy linked to the same chromosome 20 locus (PPCD1). Confocal microscopy also has emerged as a helpful tool to reveal in vivo features of several corneal dystrophies that previously required histopathologic examination to definitively diagnose. CONCLUSIONS: This revision of the IC3D classification includes an updated anatomic classification of corneal dystrophies more accurately classifying TGFBI dystrophies that affect multiple layers rather than are confined to one corneal layer. Typical histopathologic and confocal images have been added to the corneal dystrophy templates.
Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) is an age-related disease whereby progressive loss of corneal endothelial cells (CEnCs) leads to loss of vision. There is currently a lack of therapeutic interventions as the etiology of the disease is complex, with both genetic and environmental factors. In this study, we have provided further insights into the pathogenesis of the disease, showing a causal relationship between senescence and endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) using in vitro and in vivo models. Ultraviolet A (UVA) light induced EMT and senescence in CEnCs. Senescent cells were arrested in G2/M phase of the cell cycle and responsible for the resulting profibrotic phenotype. Inhibiting ATR signaling and subsequently preventing G2/M arrest attenuated EMT. In vivo, UVA irradiation induced cell cycle re-entry in post mitotic CEnCs, resulting in senescence and fibrosis at 1- and 2-weeks post-UVA. Selectively eliminating senescent cells using the senolytic cocktail of dasatinib and quercetin attenuated UVA-induced fibrosis, highlighting the potential for a new therapeutic intervention for FECD.
PURPOSE: This population-based observational study was designed to estimate the incidence and distribution of SJS-spectrum (Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and toxic epidermal Necrolysis/Stevens-Johnson syndrome overlap) and chemical burns (alkali or acid burn of the cornea/conjunctiva) in the United States and extrapolate these numbers to the world. METHODS: All patients evaluated in 961 hospital-based US emergency departments between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2012 were identified retrospectively using the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. SJS-spectrum and chemical burn cases were identified using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnostic codes. RESULTS: A mean of 3834 new SJS-spectrum cases per year were identified in the United States, resulting in an incidence rate of 12.35 new cases per million per year. Similarly, a mean of 15,865 new chemical burn cases per year were identified, resulting in an incidence rate of 51.10 new cases per million per year. CONCLUSIONS: If the incidence of SJS-spectrum is approximately uniform the world-over, extrapolation from the US figure would amount to approximately 86,500 new cases per year in the world. Extrapolation of ocular chemical burns to the world is difficult because the incidence and severity are anticipated to be higher in the developing world than in the United States. Still, using a US incidence rate, a minimum of 357,710 burn accidents would be expected to occur worldwide every year; there are presently too few data available to calculate the degree of severity and bilaterality.
Willcox MDP, Argüeso P, Georgiev GA, Holopainen JM, Laurie GW, Millar TJ, Papas EB, Rolland JP, Schmidt TA, Stahl U, Suarez T, Subbaraman LN, Uçakhan OÖ, Jones L. TFOS DEWS II Tear Film Report. Ocul Surf 2017;15(3):366-403.Abstract
The members of the Tear Film Subcommittee reviewed the role of the tear film in dry eye disease (DED). The Subcommittee reviewed biophysical and biochemical aspects of tears and how these change in DED. Clinically, DED is characterized by loss of tear volume, more rapid breakup of the tear film and increased evaporation of tears from the ocular surface. The tear film is composed of many substances including lipids, proteins, mucins and electrolytes. All of these contribute to the integrity of the tear film but exactly how they interact is still an area of active research. Tear film osmolarity increases in DED. Changes to other components such as proteins and mucins can be used as biomarkers for DED. The Subcommittee recommended areas for future research to advance our understanding of the tear film and how this changes with DED. The final report was written after review by all Subcommittee members and the entire TFOS DEWS II membership.
PURPOSE: To report the anterior segment clinical features as well as histopathologic and histochemical characteristics of corneal findings associated with the largest reported cohort of patients with Hurler Syndrome and other variants of mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) I undergoing corneal transplantation. DESIGN: Retrospective observational case series. METHODS: SETTING: Institutional PATIENT OR STUDY POPULATION: 15 corneas from 9 patients with MPS-I spectrum disease who underwent corneal transplant to treat corneal clouding between May 2011 and October 2020. INTERVENTION OR OBSERVATION PROCEDURE(S): Review of clinical data, hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained sections and histochemical stains, including those for mucopolysaccharides (Alcian blue and/or collodial iron). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Pathology observed under light microscopy, as well as, post-surgical clinical outcomes. RESULTS: Nine patients underwent fifteen corneal transplants for corneal clouding (14/15 procedures were deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty). All corneas had mucopolysaccharide deposition visible on H&E stained sections, which was highlighted in blue with histochemical stains. All corneas also showed alterations in Bowman's layer and the majority also showed epithelial abnormalities. CONCLUSION: MPS I shows significant corneal clouding which is successfully treated with deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty. The excised corneas show characteristic epithelial changes, disruption or breaks in Bowman's membrane and amphophilic collections of stromal granular mucopolysaccharides which are visible on H&E stained sections and highlighted by special histochemical stains (Alcian blue and collodial iron). These changes, although subtle, should alert the pathologist to the possibility of an underlying lysosomal storage disorder.
Impaired corneal wound healing that occurs with ocular surface disease, trauma, systemic disease, or surgical intervention can lead to persistent corneal epithelial defects (PCED), which result in corneal scarring, ulceration, opacification, corneal neovascularization, and, ultimately, visual compromise and vision loss. The current standard of care can include lubricants, ointments, bandage lenses, amniotic membranes, autologous serum eye drops, and corneal transplants. Various inherent problems exist with application and administration of these treatments, which often may not result in a completely healed surface. A topically applicable compound capable of promoting corneal epithelial cell proliferation and/or migration would be ideal to accelerate healing. We hypothesize that human growth hormone (HGH) is such a compound. In a recent study, HGH was shown to activate signal transducer and activators of transcription-5 (STAT5) signaling and promote corneal wound healing by enhancing corneal epithelial migration in a co-culture system of corneal epithelial cells and fibroblasts. These effects require an intact communication between corneal epithelia and fibroblasts. Further, HGH promotes corneal wound healing in a rabbit debridement model, thus demonstrating the effectiveness of HGH in vivo as well. In conclusion, HGH may represent an exciting and effective topical therapeutic to promote corneal wound healing.
PURPOSE: To compare the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of waterfree cyclosporine formulation (CyclASol) at 2 concentrations (0.1% and 0.05% of cyclosporine [CsA]) to vehicle when applied twice daily for 16 weeks in patients with dry eye disease (DED). An open-label Restasis (Allergan, Irvine, CA) arm was included to allow a direct comparison with an approved therapy. DESIGN: An exploratory phase II, multicenter, randomized, vehicle-controlled clinical trial, double-masked between CyclASol and vehicle with an open-label comparator. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred and seven eligible patients with a history of dry eye disease were randomized 1:1:1:1 to 1 of 4 treatment arms (CyclASol 0.05%, n = 51; CyclASol 0.1%, n = 51; vehicle, n = 52, and Restasis, n = 53). METHODS: After a 2-week run-in period with twice-daily dosing of Systane Balance (Alcon, Fort Worth, TX), patients were randomized to the respective treatment arm and dosed twice daily for 16 weeks. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The study was set up to explore efficacy on a number of sign and symptom end points including total and subregion corneal fluorescein staining, conjunctival staining, visual analog scale (VAS) for dry eye symptoms VAS severity, and Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire. RESULTS: CyclASol showed a consistent reduction in corneal and conjunctival staining compared with both vehicle and Restasis over the 16-week treatment period, with an early onset of effect (at day 14). A mixed-effects model-based approach demonstrated that the CyclASol drug effect was statistically significant over vehicle (total corneal staining P < 0.1, central corneal staining P < 0.001, conjunctival staining P < 0.01). This model-based analysis suggests a significant CyclASol effect for OSDI as symptom parameter (P < 0.01). The numbers of ocular adverse events were low in all treatment groups. CONCLUSIONS: CyclASol showed efficacy, safety, and tolerability at 2 concentrations in moderate-to-severe DED. In a direct head-to-head against open-label Restasis, CyclASol was found to have an earlier onset of action, as early as after 2 weeks of treatment, in relieving the signs of DED, as measured by corneal and conjunctival staining. The central region of the cornea, an important area for visual function in dry eye sufferers, was shown to have the most benefit from treatment. Excellent safety, tolerability, and comfort profile supports this new CsA formulation as having a positive benefit-to-risk ratio.
Woundhealing disorders characterized by impaired or delayed re-epithelialization are a serious medical problem that is painful and difficult to treat. Gelsolin (GSN), a known actin modulator, supports epithelial cell regeneration and apoptosis. The aim of this study was to estimate the potential of recombinant gelsolin (rhu-pGSN) for ocular surface regeneration to establish a novel therapy for delayed or complicated wound healing. We analyzed the influence of gelsolin on cell proliferation and wound healing in vitro, in vivo/ex vivo and by gene knockdown. Gelsolin is expressed in all tested tissues of the ocular system as shown by molecular analysis. The concentration of GSN is significantly increased in tear fluid samples of patients with dry eye disease. rhu-pGSN induces cell proliferation and faster wound healing in vitro as well as in vivo/ex vivo. TGF-β dependent transcription of SMA is significantly decreased after GSN gene knockdown. Gelsolin is an inherent protein of the ocular system and is secreted into the tear fluid. Our results show a positive effect on corneal cell proliferation and wound healing. Furthermore, GSN regulates the synthesis of SMA in myofibroblasts, which establishes GSN as a key protein of TGF-β dependent cell differentiation.
Corneal neurotization is an innovative surgical approach for restoring corneal sensation, whereby the sensory functions of a normal donor nerve are rerouted to an anesthetic cornea. Many variations upon this basic surgical principal have been introduced and have proven successful in ameliorating corneal sensation in patients. It is unclear whether one surgical approach is superior to another, as each has advantages and disadvantages. Surgical approaches differ in the donor nerve selected and in whether a nerve graft is required. Surgical techniques have varied in the location, number and extent of incisions, methods of nerve coaptation, the number of surgeons required, the equipment and materials utilized and the duration of the procedure. The current review provides an overview of developments in this nascent field. A review of all peer-reviewed publications on corneal neurotization was performed. The various approaches to corneal neurotization are compared and discussed. The least morbid, simplest, most expedient and successful surgical approaches will ultimately become the most utilized.
The assessment of tear fluid components is a common and valuable approach to understanding ocular surface disease and testing the efficacy of novel therapeutic strategies. However, the interpretation and utility of the findings can be limited by changes in the composition of the tear film, particularly in studies requiring repetitive patient sampling. Here, tear samples were collected twice within a one-hour interval to evaluate the short-term reproducibility of an immunoassay aimed to measure the amount of MUC5AC mucin. We found no statistical difference in total protein or MUC5AC content between the two consecutive collections of tear fluid, although the inter-individual variability in each group was high, with coefficients of variation exceeding 30% and 50%, respectively. Scatterplots showed a significant correlation in both protein and MUC5AC following collection within a one-hour interval. These data indicate that, regardless of the high inter-individual variability, repeated collection of tear fluid within an hour interval produces reproducible intra-individual data in terms of MUC5AC mucin content, and suggest that the normal mucin composition of the tear fluid can be re-established within an hour of the initial collection.
Epithelial cells lining mucosal surfaces impose multiple barriers to viral infection. At the ocular surface, the carbohydrate-binding protein galectin-3 maintains barrier function by cross-linking transmembrane mucins on the apical glycocalyx. Despite these defense mechanisms, many viruses have evolved to exploit fundamental cellular processes on host cells. Here, we use affinity assays to show that herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), but not HSV-2, binds human galectin-3. Knockdown of galectin-3 in human corneal keratinocytes by small interfering RNA significantly impaired HSV-1 infection, but not expression of nectin-1, indicating that galectin-3 is a herpesvirus entry mediator. Interestingly, exposure of epithelial cell cultures to transmembrane mucin isolates decreased viral infectivity. Moreover, HSV-1 failed to elute the biological counterreceptor MUC16 from galectin-3 affinity columns, suggesting that association of transmembrane mucins to galectin-3 provides protection against viral infection. Together, these results indicate that HSV-1 exploits galectin-3 to enhance virus attachment to host cells and support a protective role for transmembrane mucins under physiological conditions by masking viral entry mediators on the epithelial glycocalyx.
High levels of proinflammatory cytokines have been associated with a loss of tissue function in ocular autoimmune diseases, but the basis for this relationship remains poorly understood. Here we investigate a new role for tumor necrosis factor α in promoting N-glycan-processing deficiency at the surface of the eye through inhibition of N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase expression in the Golgi. Using mass spectrometry, complex-type biantennary oligosaccharides were identified as major N-glycan structures in differentiated human corneal epithelial cells. Remarkably, significant differences were detected between the efficacies of cytokines in regulating the expression of glycogenes involved in the biosynthesis of N-glycans. Tumor necrosis factor α but not IL-1β had a profound effect in suppressing the expression of enzymes involved in the Golgi branching pathway, including N-acetylglucosaminyltransferases 1 and 2, which are required for the formation of biantennary structures. This decrease in gene expression was correlated with a reduction in enzymatic activity and impaired N-glycan branching. Moreover, patients with ocular mucous membrane pemphigoid were characterized by marginal N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase expression and decreased N-glycan branching in the conjunctiva. Together, these data indicate that proinflammatory cytokines differentially influence the expression of N-glycan-processing enzymes in the Golgi and set the stage for future studies to explore the pathophysiology of ocular autoimmune diseases.
PURPOSE: Cell surface mucins are a group of highly O-glycosylated transmembrane glycoproteins responsible for the protection of epithelial cells on mucosal surfaces. The aim of this study was to investigate the localization and regulation of mucin 20 (MUC20) at the ocular surface. METHODS: Localization of MUC20 in human corneal and conjunctival epithelia was evaluated by immunofluorescence microscopy. Immortalized corneal (HCLE) and conjunctival (HCjE) cell lines were grown at different stages of differentiation and subjected to quantitative PCR and Western blot analyses. Cell surface proteins on apical cell membranes were biotinylated and isolated by neutravidin chromatography. RESULTS: The MUC20 was detected throughout the entire human ocular surface epithelia, predominantly in cell membranes within intermediate cell layers. In conjunctiva, MUC20 also was observed in the cytoplasm of apical cells within the stratified squamous epithelium, but not in goblet cells. Quantitative PCR and immunoblotting demonstrated expression of MUC20 in HCLE and HCjE cells. Induction of differentiation with serum-containing medium resulted in upregulation of MUC20 mRNA and protein. Biotin labeling of the surface of stratified cultures revealed low levels of MUC20 protein on apical glycocalyces. Further, MUC20 was not detected in the cell culture media or in human tears, suggesting that the extracellular domain of MUC20 is not released from the ocular surface as described previously for other cell surface mucins. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that MUC20 is a novel transmembrane mucin expressed by the human corneal and conjunctival epithelia, and suggest that differential expression of MUC20 during differentiation has a role in maintaining ocular surface homeostasis.
A growing body of evidence implicates endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. Here, we demonstrate that the proinflammatory cytokine TNFα stimulates matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) at the ocular surface through a c-Fos-dependent mechanism of ER stress. We found positive reactivity of the molecular chaperone BiP/GRP78 in conjunctival epithelium of patients with ocular cicatricial pemphigoid and increased levels of BiP/GRP78, sXBP1 and GRP94 in human corneal epithelial cells treated with TNFα. Pharmacological blockade of ER stress in vitro using dexamethasone or the chemical chaperones TUDCA and 4PBA attenuated MMP9 expression and secretion in the presence of TNFα. Moreover, expression analysis of genes associated with inflammation and autoimmunity identified the c-Fos proto-oncogene as a mediator of ER stress responses in epithelial cells. Substantially less TNFα-induced MMP9 expression occurred when c-Fos signaling was suppressed with a function-blocking antibody. Taken together, these results indicate that activation of ER stress contributes to promote inflammation-mediated proteolytic activity and uncovers a target for restoring tissue homeostasis in ocular autoimmune disease.
We previously demonstrated that β6 knockout mice showed impaired wound repair in corneal debridement and keratectomy wounds. In the current investigation, we continued our examination of integrin αvβ6 in order to determine if it was required for the initiation of wound healing in a corneal wound model that normally heals in a fibrotic manner. A full-thickness corneal incision was made in C57BL/6 J wild type (WT) and C57BL/6-Itgb6 KO (β6) mice. The mice were observed at 3, 7, 14, and 28 days post-incision. The morphology of corneal restoration was observed in tissue sections stained with hemotoxilin and eosin (H&E). In addition, indirect-immunofluorescence (IF) was performed on sections and/or whole mounts to evaluate the immunolocalization of α-smooth muscle actin (SMA) and thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1). H&E staining revealed that the corneas in β6 mice healed slower than those in WT mice, with an obvious delay in the restoration of the stromal matrix and epithelium. In sections at 3 and 7 days, SMA and TSP-1 were greatly reduced in the β6 mice as compared to WT, but peaked at 28 days after incision. Whole mount SMA IF results were consistent with those from sections. Therefore, the initiation of fibrosis was inhibited by the lack of αvβ6; however, there appeared to be an alternate mechanism that initiated fibrosis 7-14 days later. Localization of TSP-1 correlated with expression of SMA whether wound healing was delayed or initiated immediately after wounding.
PURPOSE: To classify subtypes of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and evaluate the dependency of dry eye signs, symptoms, and parameters on MGD subtype. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. STUDY POPULATION: the right eyes of 447 patients with MGD of various subtypes and 20 healthy volunteers. METHODS: Patients were divided into 4 subtypes of MGD based on meibum expression, meibum quality, and MG loss on meibography images (meibograde of 0-6). Subtypes were patients with high meibum delivery (hypersecretory and nonobvious MGD) and those with low meibum delivery (hyposecretory and obstructive MGD). Additional clinical tests included tear film break-up time (TFBUT), ocular staining, osmolarity, Schirmer I, blink interval timing and the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire. RESULTS: A total of 78 eyes had hypersecretory MGD; 49 eyes had nonobvious MGD; 66 eyes had hyposecretory MGD; and 254 eyes had obstructive MGD. Increased tear film osmolarity and lower TFBUT were found in the low-delivery groups; hyposecretory (P = 0.006, P = 0.016) and obstructive MGD (P = 0.008, P = 0.006) relative to high-delivery MGD (hypersecretory and nonobvious groups, respectively). Worse ocular symptoms and ocular staining were also found in low-delivery MGD groups than the high delivery MGD groups (P < 0.01 and P < 0.006, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with low-delivery MGD had worse dry eye parameters and ocular symptoms than those with high meibum delivery, indicating the pivotal role of meibum secretion in ocular surface health that should be targeted in MGD therapy. Furthermore, nonobvious MGD cannot be diagnosed using conventional dry eye tests and requires morphologic assessment of meibography images to confirm MG loss.
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is the leading cause of dry eye and proposed treatments are based on disease severity. Our purpose was to establish reliable morphologic measurements of meibomian glands for evaluating MGD severity. This retrospective, cross-sectional study included 100 MGD patients and 20 controls. The patients were classified into dry eye severity level (DESL) 1-4 based on symptoms and clinical parameters including tear-film breakup time, ocular staining and Schirmer I. The gland loss, length, thickness, density and distortion were analyzed. We compared the morphology between patients and controls; examined their correlations to meibum expressibility, quality, and DESL. Relative to controls, the gland thickness, density and distortion were elevated in patients (p < 0.001 for all tests). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.98 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.96-1.0) for gland loss, and 0.96 (CI 0.91-1.0) for gland distortion, with a cutoff value of six distorted glands yielding a sensitivity of 93% and specificity of 97% for MGD diagnosis. The gland distortion was negatively correlated to the meibum expressibility (r = -0.53; p < 0.001) and DESL (r = -0.22, p = 0.018). In conclusion, evaluation of meibomian gland loss and distortion are valuable complementary clinical parameters to assess MGD status.
This study aimed to evaluate the outcomes and described the recovery process of cryopreserved limbal lamellar keratoplasty (CLLK) for peripheral corneal and limbal diseases. Thirteen eyes of 12 patients with a mean age of 41±23.9y were included. The average follow-up was 12.1±5.6mo. Stable ocular surface was achieved in all eyes at last follow-up. Epithelialization originated from both recipient and graft in 9 eyes. We conclude that CLLK compensates for the shortage of donor corneas and cryopreserved limbal grafts provide epithelialization sources in ocular surface reconstruction.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the clinical outcome of umbilical cord patch (UCP) transplantation for deep corneal ulcers with perforations and descemetoceles. METHODS: In this retrospective, noncomparative, interventional case series, 11 eyes of 11 patients with corneal perforation or descemetocele were included. The thickness and microstructure of UCP were measured. All eyes were treated with UCP and amniotic membrane transplantation for corneal reconstruction. Corneal ulcer healing, corneal thickness, anterior chamber formation, and best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) were recorded and analyzed. RESULTS: The thickness of human UCP is 398.6 ± 102.8 μm (n = 5) with compact aligned fibers. The average age was 56.2 ± 15.8 (ranging from 22 to 75) years. The mean follow-up period was 7.1 ± 1.7 (ranging from 5 to 10) months. Four patients had descemetocele and 7 had perforation. The anterior chambers in all the 7 perforated corneas were formed at postoperative day 1. All patients regained a normal corneal thickness and smooth corneal surface within the first postoperative month. The vision improved in 10 eyes and remained unchanged in 1 eye. No recurrence nor side effects occurred during the follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: UCP can serve as an alternative material in the treatment of corneal perforations and descemetoceles. This treatment option is also beneficial in those countries with limited cornea donors and eye bank services.