Netarsudil Use After Descemetorhexis Without Endothelial Keratoplasty

Clinical Trial ID: NCT04057053


Primary aim of the study is to determine whether a rho kinase inhibitor, Netarsudil, can speed corneal clearance after DWEK. Secondary aim of the study is to investigate whether patient factors, such as baseline age, pachymetry, or endothelial cell count influence response to Netarsudil.

Spontaneous corneal clearance after Descemetorhexis without keratoplasty (DWEK) has been documented in several previous trials. One of the largest cohorts at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary demonstrated spontaneous corneal clearance in about 82% of cases but mean time to clearance was approximately three months after the procedure. During this time period, patients have significantly reduced central vision. Furthermore, some patients fail to have corneal clearance even eight months after DWEK and have to undergo Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) to achieve corneal clearance. A recent international case report has documents that the addition of a rho kinase inhibitor, Ripasudil, to two eyes that failed to clear by two to three months after DWEK resulted in corneal clearance within two weeks after the addition of Ripasudil. This finding indicates the possibility that a rho kinase inhibitor can be used to speed corneal clearance after purposeful Descemetorhexis. The only FDA approved rho kinase inhibitor eye drop currently available is Netarsudil, approved in December of 2017 for use in ocular hypertension and primary open angle glaucoma. Investigating whether Netarsudil can speed corneal clearance after DWEK is truly importance as the potential to expand patient eligibility for DWEK is significant. Both patients that had previously not wanted to wait approximately three months after the procedure for corneal clearance as well as patients with lower mid-peripheral endothelial cell counts may now be eligible for a procedure to treat corneal endothelial dysfunction without a corneal transplant. This would reduce risks for corneal transplant rejection and failure, reduce need for long-term steroid eye drop use, and reduce need for frequent corneal screenings to ensure transplant health. The current study aims to investigate whether the off-label use of Netarsudil can improve corneal clearance after DWEK in Fuchs endothelial dystrophy patients.


Inclusion Criteria: - Cataract in both eyes - Fuchs endothelial dystrophy in both eyes Exclusion Criteria: - History of ocular surgery in one eye and not the other - History of significant ocular trauma/burn in one eye and not the other - Inability to provide informed consent - Inability to undergo eye surgery - Inablity to use eye drops reliably

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    Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

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