Researchers will compare the outcomes of 1,330 corneal transplants. Half the patients will receive transplants within 7 days of donor death, half within 8 to 14 days.
People suffering from diseases affecting the corneal endothelium, the critical back cell layer of the cornea that keeps the cornea from swelling, including Fuchs' Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy, an age-related disease that may be inherited; and pseudophakic/aphakic corneal edema, a complication following cataract surgery, will be enrolled.
All patients will undergo a corneal transplant called an endothelial keratoplasty. Doctors or the eye bank take a slice from the back of a healthy donated cornea, open a small slit in the patient's eye, scrape out the diseased endothelial cells and replace them with the donor cells.
Doctors will examine patients' transplants over the next three years, to determine if the cornea has remained clear or become clouded due to poor functioning or death of the transplanted cells.
Although results of the study directly apply only to the use of donor corneas used for this specific operation and these conditions, researchers hope that results could be extended to donor corneas used for other types of transplants and other diseases.
In addition to the federal grant, the Eye Bank Association of America, individual eye banks, and the Cornea Society, which represents corneal surgeons, have contributed $315,000 to support the study.
|Contact: Kevin Mayhood|
Case Western Reserve University