AIMS: To investigate the usefulness of ocular redox fluorometry for evaluating donor corneal endothelial viability. METHODS: Corneas from 42 recipients of penetrating keratoplasty and four donor corneas were examined by ocular redox fluorometry. Autofluorescence from reduced pyridine nucleotides (PN) and oxidised flavoproteins (Fp) of the human corneal endothelium were measured non-invasively, and the PN/Fp ratio was used as a tissue metabolic indicator. Specular microscopy and electron microscopy were also performed. RESULTS: Both the quality of specular microscopic image and the PN/Fp ratio were significantly correlated with the degree of corneal endothelial damage determined by histological examination. Corneas with poor specular microscopic image showed significantly decreased PN/Fp ratio compared with corneas with good or fair specular images (p = 0.041 and 0.027, respectively). The PN/Fp ratio increased in corneas with mildly damaged endothelium but decreased in corneas with severely damaged endothelium determined by histological examination. Evaluation of corneal endothelium by combination of specular microscopy and ocular redox fluorometry showed excellent association with that of histopathological examination (p < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Ocular redox fluorometry is useful for assessing donor corneal endothelial viability. Combination of ocular redox fluorometry and specular microscopy may increase the ability of donor cornea selection.
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