98th Annual Meeting DOG 2000

V 45

Corneas from septic donors: A retrospective study

H. Spelsberg, U. Sengler

Purpose: To evaluate the quality of donor corneas derived from patients who have died from septicaemia.

Methods: Between 4/95 and 11/98 182 corneal grafts from septic donors were stored in organ culture for 10 - 14 days. Graft evaluation was performed according to the criteria of the European Eye Bank Association. Only corneas with a cell density above 2000 cells/mm2 were transplanted. 56 patients who received these grafts were examined retrospectively with special interest on endophthalmitis, clear graft survival and the incidence of immune reactions. 34 were normal risk (61%) and 22 high risk (39%) keratoplasties. Follow-up of at least 12 months.

Results: 91 of 182 transplants (50%) from septic donors were discarded mainly due to endothelial damage (67%) and medium contamination (8%). During the same period 452 of 1261 transplants (36%) from non-septic donors were discarded mainly due to the same reasons: endothelial damage (58%) and medium contamination (11%). Regarding medium contamination the difference between both groups had no statistical power. No patient who had received a graft from a septic donor experienced endophthalmitis. After 12 months the rate of immune reactions and graft failure was in the same range when compared to non-septic donors.

Conclusion: Our data reveal no contraindication against the use of corneal grafts derived from septic donors, critical graft assessment and microbiological culture medium control provided.

LIONS Cornea Bank NRW and Eye Clinic, Heinrich Heine University, Moorenstr. 5, D-40225 Düsseldorf