Benefits of specular microscopy in evaluating eye donors aged 66 and older

Cornea. 1995 Nov;14(6):568-70, 634.


In the United States of America and worldwide, supplies of quality donor corneas continue to lag behind the demand. Some of what appears to be a shortage in the U.S.A. is really due to the custom of many surgeons to use only tissue from younger donors, thus creating an unnecessary waiting list. In reality, we do have a sizable pool of good donors in the older age group. With improved evaluation techniques, it is possible to identify these donors and to add their tissue to the supply of available corneas. This study shows that large numbers of corneas from donors over the age of 65 can be used successfully to restore vision. Specular microscopy provides valuable quantitative data to the surgeon, who ultimately makes the decision about the suitability of the donor tissue. For an eye bank, specular microscopy makes it easier to place older tissue, resulting in shorter waiting lists.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cell Count
  • Corneal Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Corneal Transplantation* / statistics & numerical data
  • Decision Making
  • Endothelium, Corneal / cytology
  • Eye Banks / standards
  • Eye Banks / statistics & numerical data
  • Eye*
  • Graft Rejection / etiology
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Microscopy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tissue Donors* / statistics & numerical data
  • Tissue Donors* / supply & distribution