Comparison of Hospital Cornea Retrieval and Voluntary Eye Donation Program in Eye Banking

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Objectives:Comparison of demographic, clinical, microbiological, and utility profile of the corneas obtained through hospital corneal retrieval program (HCRP) and voluntary eye donation (VED) program.Methods:Donor corneas retrieved during a 14 months period at National eye bank, India were included in the study. The donor cornea grading was done according to the cornea donor study. The corneal swabs were taken from the donor eyes and were sent for microbiological evaluation. The quality of the donor corneas and their utility was assessed.Results:Out of 1,014 donor corneas collected (700 through HCRP, 314 through VED), 455 were of optical grade (91.2% [415/455] through the HCRP and 8.7% [40/455] through the VED). HCRP had a higher proportion of donors in younger age (81.6% vs. 21%, P<0.0001), clear lens (78.6% vs. 66.2%, P<0.0001), and endothelial cell counts of more than2,000 cells per squared millimeter (64.9% vs. 28%, P<0.0001). Higher proportions of corneas in HCRP were used for optical indications (Penetrating keratoplasty, 24.5% vs. 13.3%, P<0.0001 and endothelial keratoplasty, 18.14% vs. 4.14%, P<0.0001). VED had a greater number of corneas found unsuitable for keratoplasty (37.4% vs. 6.4%, P<0.001). Most of the donors in the HCRP belonged to lower socioeconomic status (59.4% vs. 17.9%, P<0.0001). No significant difference was found in the microbial contamination between the two groups.Conclusions:Most corneas retrieved through HCRP were of optical grade quality and efforts should be focused on HCRP to reduce the demand-supply deficit in cornea transplantation.

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