Corneal transplantation improves bilateral vision in paediatric patients

March 16, 2011

Corneal transplantation is generally successful in infants, children and adolescents

A recent study published in Ophthalmology shows corneal transplantation is generally successful in infants, children and adolescents.

Dr Keryn A. Williams et al., Department of Ophthalmology, Flinders Medical Centre, Australia, conducted a prospective cohort study on 14 865 records of penetrating corneal grafts in 11 929 patients. Of these records, 765 grafts in 640 patients aged 20 and below were used. Records from the Australian Corneal graft Registry were investigated using Kaplan-Meier survival plots and Cox proportional hazards regression analysis. The main outcome measures included the probability of corneal graft survival and Snellen acuity at certain intervals and at the last follow-up post-graft.

It was found that adolescents, of ages 13 to 19 years old, experienced the best corneal graft survival and infants, who were less than 5 years old, demonstrated the lowest corneal graft survival of all the study group. Factors influencing paediatric patient's corneal graft survival included indication for graft, graft inflammation, history of intraocular surgery, vascularization, rejection episodes, post-graft operative procedures and refractive surgery.

The findings suggested although overall bilateral vision is improved, infants showed low visual outcomes and it was concluded that both corneal graft survival and visual outcomes are affected more by graft indication than the patient's age.

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