Morphology, histology, and ultrastructure of human C31 organ-cultured corneas

Cornea. 1995 May;14(3):300-10. doi: 10.1097/00003226-199505000-00012.


Our objective was to evaluate corneal structural modifications induced by corneal preservation in a C31 organ culture medium. Twenty-four postmortem human corneas preserved in C31 medium (CRTS, Besançon, France) for 2-21 days and 12 fresh postmortem human corneas were studied and evaluated by means of light microscopy, morphometry, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Endothelial cell loss during preservation averaged 9.2% (+/- 7.2%). Endothelial morphology displayed significantly more moderate alterations in the group of fresh corneas than in the group of preserved corneas. Endothelial morphometry resulted in a higher coefficient of variation (p = 0.002) in the preserved group but showed no difference for the average figure coefficient and average cell area. The histological study showed corneal swelling and epithelial sloughing in the preserved group. TEM displayed moderate preservation injuries, such as numerous vacuoles, mitochondrial swelling, and increased cell thickness. These results are consistent with previous findings that indicated that C31 medium induces moderate preservation injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Death
  • Cornea / pathology*
  • Cornea / ultrastructure*
  • Culture Media
  • Endothelium, Corneal / pathology
  • Endothelium, Corneal / ultrastructure
  • Epithelium / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Organ Preservation


  • Culture Media