Purpose: Many eyes are received from patients who have undergone cataract surgery. Few data document the endothelial cell characteristics in these donor eyes, which have previously been disqualified for transplantation. We compared the endothelial characteristics of the corneas from eyes with intraocular lenses (IOLs) with a group of matching controls.
Methods: The corneal endothelial characteristics, including cell density, polymegethism, and pleomorphism, were prospectively obtained in 15 corneas from eyes with IOL implants and compared with 17 phakic control eyes.
Results: The mean cell densities (+/-SD) were 2,495 +/- 438 cells/mm2 for the eyes with implants and 2,576 +/- 264 cells/mm2 for the controls. The mean coefficient of variation was 0.307 +/- 0.04 and 0.323 +/- 0.04 for IOL and control group, respectively. No significant difference was found between the two groups (t test, power = 0.97 in detecting a mean difference of 20%).
Conclusion: Many eyes with IOLs have endothelial cell densities comparable to those of phakic eyes. A decision to use specific corneas should be made individually based on endothelial cell analysis. Previous ocular surgery may not disqualify a corneal donor.