Increased endothelial cell loss after transplantation of corneas preserved by a modified organ-culture technique

Ophthalmology. 1984 Mar;91(3):285-9. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(84)34306-8.


Forty-seven donor corneas were preserved in McCarey-Kaufman (M-K) medium at 4 degrees C for 1 day, then in organ culture at 34 degrees C for approximately 1 month, then in M-K medium at 4 degrees C for an additional two days before transplantation. The central donor endothelium was examined by specular microscopy before and after organ culture and 2 months after keratoplasty. No significant change in central endothelial cell density occurred during organ culture. The 47 transplants were compared with 47 grafts preserved only in M-K medium at 4 degrees C for approximately 36 hours. All transplants were performed by the same surgeon over the same period, and the two groups contained similar types of surgical procedures. The organ-cultured grafts were thicker on the first post-operative day and took longer to epithelialize . Two months after keratoplasty all of the 94 grafts were clear and thin, but the mean central endothelial cell loss was 28% in the 47 organ-cultured transplants and 10% in the 47 transplants preserved only in M-K medium (P less than 0.0001). These results indicate that the endothelium of corneas preserved by organ culture at 34 degrees C and then placed in M-K medium at 4 degrees C for 2 days may be more susceptible to surgical trauma than those preserved only in M-K medium at 4 degrees C.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cell Count
  • Child
  • Cornea / cytology
  • Corneal Transplantation*
  • Endothelium / cytology
  • Humans
  • Microscopy
  • Organ Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Photography
  • Postoperative Care
  • Time Factors