Heterologous, Fresh, Human Donor Sclera as Patch Graft Material in Glaucoma Drainage Device Surgery

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To determine the safety and efficacy of fresh, human sclera allografts as a patch graft material in glaucoma drainage device (GDD) surgery.


Retrospective, noncomparative, interventional, consecutive case series.


All GDD cases operated between 2008 and 2013 in which fresh human corneoscleral rims were used immediately after the central corneal button was used for penetrating or endothelial keratoplasty.


Surgery was performed by 2 surgeons at 2 facilities. The Ahmed Glaucoma Valve (FP-7) was used exclusively in this cohort. Sixty-four eyes of 60 patients were identified; demographic data were recorded along with intraocular pressure (IOP), medication requirements, visual acuity, complications, and subsequent interventions.

Main Outcome Measures:

Incidence of complications. IOP and medication requirements at the last follow-up. Quilified success utilizing Tube Versus Trabeculectomy study criteria.


The mean age of the cohort was 66.2±19.1 years; the average preoperative IOP was 33.2±11.1 mm Hg on 4.2±1.3 IOP-lowering agents before GDD surgery. IOP decreased significantly to 14.1±4.7 mm Hg (P<0.001) on 1.6±1.2 IOP-lowering agents (P<0.001) after an average follow-up of 18.2±15.4 months. There were no cases of early or late blebitis or endophthalmitis, and there was 1 case of conjunctival erosion and tube/plate exposure (1.6%) occurring 30 days after surgery. Qualified success was estimated as 90.5% and 81% at 1 and 2 years, respectively, using Tube Versus Trabeculectomy study criteria.


Heterologous, fresh, human donor sclera appears to be a safe material for GDD tube coverage. It provides a cost-efficient alternative compared with traditional patch graft materials associated with a low risk of pathogen transmission.

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