Associate Professor Elaine Chong

Senior Research Fellow, Clinical Trials Research Centre

Corneal and medical retina specialist Associate Professor Elaine Chong is investigating a new treatment for Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy.

Associate Professor Elaine Chong

Senior Research Fellow, Clinical Trials Research Centre

MBBS, FRANZCO, Masters of Epidemiology, PhD

Associate Professor Elaine Chong is the head of ophthalmology at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and is a consultant ophthalmologist in both the corneal and retinal units at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH).

She is a dual fellowship trained ophthalmologist, who completed sub-specialty fellowship training in Medical Retina at the RVEEH, and Corneal, Cataract and Refractive Surgery at the Singapore National Eye Centre.

A/Prof Chong was awarded the Gold Medal for Excellence at the RANZCO Advanced Clinical Exams in 2011 and has received various international awards for her work in corneal and retinal research.

A/Prof Chong holds a PhD and Masters of Epidemiology from the University of Melbourne. She is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Eye Research Australia, section editor of the Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology journal, and she sits in the RANZCO Victorian Branch committee and Australia New Zealand Cornea Society Executive committee.

She is currently investigating a new treatment for Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy, Descemetorhexis without endothelial keratoplasty (DWEK). This new treatment may remove the need for corneal transplantation, allowing the cornea to heal on its own.

Key research questions
  • How does Descemetorhexis without endothelial keratoplasty (DWEK) work, and how successful is it?
  • Who are suitable candidates for DWEK?
  • Does adjunct therapy with Rho Kinase inhibitor drops aid in speeding up recovery?

Current projects

Selected publications

My team

Key collaborators

Funding and support

Current projects

Descemetorhexis without endothelial keratoplasty, DWEK: A New Treatment for Fuchs’ Endothelial Dystrophy

This study evaluates the possibility of removing a section of Descemet’s membrane along with its diseased endothelial cells, without implanting a corneal transplant, and simply leaving the cornea to heal on its own. This procedure is known as ‘Descemetorhexis Without Endothelial Keratoplasty (DWEK)’ or ‘Descemet’s stripping only (DSO)’. Previous studies have reported between 65-100% success rates.

  • Macsai MS, Shiloach M. Use of Topical Rho Kinase Inhibitors in the Treatment of Fuchs Dystrophy After Descemet Stripping Only. Cornea 2019;38(5):529-34
  • Huang MJ, Kane S, Dhaliwal DK. Descemetorhexis Without Endothelial Keratoplasty Versus DMEK for Treatment of Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy. Cornea 2018;37(12):1479-83.

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