Obtaining optimum corneal tissue for transplant

January 28, 2009

A team in the Philippines has defined criteria that need to be met in order to obtain an optimum tissue quality for corneal grafts.

A team in the Philippines has defined criteria that need to be met in order to obtain an optimum tissue quality for corneal grafts. The quality of corneal grafts can be affected by factors including the time and season of the post-mortem graft harvest, according to the study.

Dr Charish F. Daffon and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of corneal donor records (n=1955) from 2000–2005 and tabulated donor data to establish criteria for harvesting optimal corneal buttons for tissue eye banking. Data on 2797 corneal buttons were analysed.

The team found that factors influencing endothelial corneal rating and overall button quality were age of donor (≤32 years for optimum quality), duration of time between death and preservation (≤7.1 hours for optimum tissue quality - note that this is significantly shorter than the internationally recognised 12-hour standard), technician extracting the tissue and month of harvest (December–February).

The researchers concluded that there are several factors governing the quality of corneal tissue extracted post-mortem for transplantation.