Purpose: To quantify clinical and operative factors that influence corneal graft outcome.
Methods: A multifactorial analysis was done on 2242 corneal grafts registered by the United Kingdom Transplant Service from July 1987 to June 1991.
Results: There was an increased risk of graft failure in patients with preoperative diffuse and other noncentral stromal edema, less-common eye diseases, small trephine size, difference in donor and recipient sizes greater than 0.25 mm, and use of mixed continuous and interrupted sutures. Visual acuity 3 months after surgery was poorer in patients who had glaucoma and low visual acuity preoperatively, small trephine size, and combined vitreous surgery. Use of interrupted sutures resulted in higher astigmatism at 3 months.
Conclusions: After allowing for the effects of recipient factors, surgical factors significantly affected corneal graft outcome. No factors that showed significant benefits for graft survival also adversely affected visual performance. Details of medical history, clinical condition, and surgical method failed to predict more than a small proportion of observed variability in visual performance of functioning grafts.