Purpose: The Corneal Transplant Follow-up Study has followed 2385 corneal transplants performed in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland for up to 450 days to quantify factors influencing corneal graft survival and visual outcome 3 and 12 months postoperatively.
Methods: Multifactorial analyses of grafts registered by United Kingdom Transplant Support Service from July 1987 to June 1990 were used. Corrected visual acuity of functioning grafts was assessed at 3 and 12 months.
Results: Of 2385 corneal transplants followed, 214 failures were observed: graft survival was 95% at 3 months and 89% at 1 year. Similar factors affected outcome at each time. Decreased risk of failure was associated with surgeons reporting most grafts, and increased risk was associated with regrafts, patients younger than 10 years of age, nonvisual reasons for grafting, endothelial failure, and deep vascularization. Visual outcome was worse in older patients and was associated with cosmetic reasons for grafting, superficial vascularization preoperatively, and secondary endothelial failure. Visual acuity was better when the other eye had been grafted previously, or when the diagnosis was keratoconus or stromal dystrophy.
Conclusions: Primary endothelial failure was associated with high failure rates but good visual results when functioning. Most other factors had similar effects on both outcome measures. Improved outcome under highest-reporting surgeons was slight, and indicated possible differences in postoperative care.