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Conclusions of the corneal transplant follow up study

Abstract

AIM On the basis of finalised data from the Corneal Transplant Follow up Study to identify and quantify factors influencing corneal graft outcome in terms of graft survival, rejection, visual acuity, and astigmatism.

METHODS Multifactorial analysis of 2777 grafts registered by the UK Transplant Support Service from July 1987 to June 1991.

RESULTS Several recipient factors influencing graft survival, rejection, and visual acuity were identified, but no donor factors. Of the operative factors amenable to change, mixed suturing was associated with reduced graft survival, and larger grafts with increased risk of rejection but better visual acuity when surviving. There was increased risk of rejection with poor matching at HLA class I antigens, but mismatched HLA-DR grafts suffered less rejection than those with zero HLA-DR mismatches. Recipient age below 10 years was associated with increased risk of both rejection and graft failure. However, whereas increasing age above 10 years was not associated with differential graft survival, it was significantly associated with decreasing risk of rejection.

CONCLUSIONS While confirming possible benefits of HLA-A and B matching, the expense and delay involved in awaiting matched HLA-DR tissue is unlikely to be justified. Other donor factors are unrelated to graft outcome following screening of tissue by eye banks. The highest rates of graft failure and rejection happen in the early postoperative period, and factors influencing visual outcome are also apparent at this stage.

  • corneal transplant
  • graft failure
  • rejection
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