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Screening human donor corneas during organ culture for the presence of guttae
  1. Vincent M Borderiea,
  2. Visnja Sabolica,
  3. Olivier Touzeaua,
  4. Sarah Scheera,
  5. Santos Carvajal-Gonzalezb,
  6. Laurent Larochea
  1. aBanque de cornées de l'Etablissement Français du Sang, Ile-de-France, Hôpital Saint Antoine, Paris, France, bINSERM Unité 339, Hôpital Saint Antoine, Paris, France
  1. Vincent M Borderie, MD, PhD, Service d'Ophtalmologie, Hôpital Saint Antoine, 184 rue du Fg St-Antoine, 75571 Paris Cedex 12, Francevincent.borderie{at}


AIMS To detect the presence of guttae by means of light microscopy during organ culture and to evaluate the influence of the presence of guttae in the donor tissue on transplantation outcome.

METHODS Donor corneas were investigated for the presence of guttae by means of light microscopy at the end of organ culture. Recipient corneal buttons from patients with severe Fuchs' dystrophy and donor corneas with advanced guttae were first studied by light microscopy and subsequently by transmission electron microscopy. Lastly, 168 consecutive donor corneas were evaluated for the presence of guttae and issued for transplantation.

RESULTS Corneal specimens with Fuchs' dystrophy displayed numerous round highly reflecting guttae at the level of the corneal endothelium. Donor corneas with advanced guttae showed less numerous guttae. Among 168 organ cultured donor corneas issued for transplantation, low density guttae were found in 43 (25.6%) corneas. The endothelial cell density and figure coefficient were significantly lower and organ culture time was significantly higher in the cornea guttata group than in the control group. The presence of grouped guttae significantly decreased the adjusted graft survival. The incidence of postoperative stage 3 cornea guttata was significantly higher when grouped guttae were found (5/6) than when no guttae or scattered guttae were found (8/101).

CONCLUSION Cornea guttata can be detected during organ culture by means of light microscopy. It is associated with a decrease in endothelial cell figure coefficient and cell density. The presence of grouped guttae is associated with poorer graft survival and more frequent stage 3 cornea guttata in the graft after transplantation.

  • cornea guttata
  • corneal transplantation
  • endothelium
  • morphometry

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