Purpose: Human lenses are generally obtained from eye bank eyes, which have been stored in the cold for extended periods. It is not known what effect the storage has on the lens. In this study, we examine the effects of post mortem time on the weights of sheep lenses left in the eye.
Methods: Lenses were removed from 299 ex vivo sheep eyes (200-day-old), which had been kept on ice for various times up to 76 h. Wet and dry weights were then determined. In addition, wet and dry weights were obtained from 147,414-day-old and 149,660-day-old lenses removed within one hour of death.
Results: After about 30 h in the eye, lens wet weights started to increase. By 76 h, the water content had increased by 25%.
Conclusions: Uptake of water by lenses while stored in the eye at low temperature can significantly alter lens properties. It is suggested that caution is needed when interpreting data obtained with lenses from eye bank eyes unless it can be demonstrated that there has been no water uptake.