Effects of the storage period in dextran-containing organ culture medium on the epithelium of corneal transplants
H. Spelsberg, T. Reinhard
Purpose: High-molecular dextran added to organ culture medium is used for corneal transplants to prepare them for surgery by deswelling. For a while we had the impression to detect more often epithelial desquamation if storage time was longer than 1 day.
Methods: We examined prospectively the effect of the storage period on the graft epithelium 1 day after keratoplasty in 42 corneal transplants which were stored in dextran-containing storage medium (FCS 2%, Dextran T500 6%). 13 corneal transplants were stored for 1 day, 6 corneas for 2 days, 12 corneas for 3 days and 11 corneas for 4 days in dextran-containing organ culture medium. Before, all 42 transplants had been stored 10 days in dextran-free organ culture medium. Postoperative epithelial defects were classified as margin erosions, central erosions and total erosions.
Results: With a storage period in dextran-containing organ culture medium of 1 day, we found postoperative epithelial erosions in 6 of 13 grafts (46%). After a 2 days storage period 4 of 6 corneas showed epithelial defects (67%), after 3 days 8 of 12 corneas (67%) and after 4 days 8 of 11 corneas (73%). After a 1 day storage period only graft margin erosions except 1 central erosion were observed. The frequency of central erosions increased after a 3 days storage period. Total erosions were found more often after 2-4 days in dextran-containing medium.
Discussion: Our data show that the epithelium of corneal transplants is damaged depending on the storage period in dextran-containing organ culture medium. This will be elucidated by a larger amount of cases.
LIONS Cornea Bank NRW and Eye Clinic, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Moorenstr. 5, 40225 Düsseldorf