The CORTES study: corneal transplant indications and graft survival in an Italian cohort of patients

Cornea. 2006 Jun;25(5):507-15. doi: 10.1097/01.ico.0000214211.60317.1f.


Purpose: To describe the corneal transplantation activity in Italy, to assess the long-term graft survival, and to begin to outline the potential risk factors for graft outcome.

Methods: We followed a consecutive series of penetrating (PK) and lamellar (LK) keratoplasties performed with corneas procured and distributed by the Veneto Eye Bank Foundation, which provides about one third of the corneas grafted in Italy each year.

Results: Data on 4415 PKs and 489 LKs performed in 174 clinical centers are reported. Keratoconus was the major transplant indication (47% and 66%, respectively, for the 2 groups), followed by regraft (14%) and bullous keratopathy (14%) in the PK group and keratitis (8%) and refractive reasons (4%) for the LKs. In the 2 groups, graft survival, after 1 year, was estimated to be 95% and 93%, respectively, showing a decrease of the survival rate during the second and third years of study. Graft survival in patients with keratoconus indication was 98% in the PK group and 95% in the LK group for the whole period of observation, whereas the patients with other indications reported a survival rate ranging from 92% after 1 year to 52% after 3 years (PK) and from 89% to 85% (LK).

Conclusions: CORTES is the most extensive survey on corneal transplantation in Italy that involves a large cohort of patients and a significant number of surgeons with corneal tissues processed and distributed by a single eye bank. In the first 3 years, a picture of the epidemiology of the corneal transplant has been defined. The graft survival rates were comparable to those reported by other studies for the same follow-up period. However, the follow-up of a sample of this cohort for a further 3 years will allow us to precisely estimate the long-term graft survival and to better evaluate the risk factors related to graft failure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Corneal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Corneal Diseases / surgery
  • Corneal Transplantation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Eye Banks / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Survival*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Risk Factors