Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Corneas From Older Donors Perform Successfully After Five Years, Study Shows

Date:
April 4, 2008
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Surgeons and patients can now show that corneas from older donors are as successful for transplants after five years as is tissue from younger donors, allowing possible expansion of the donor pool.

Surgeons and patients from UT Southwestern Medical Center and UT Southwestern Transplant Services Center joined in a landmark study showing that corneas from older donors are as successful for transplants after five years as is tissue from younger donors, allowing possible expansion of the donor pool.

Based on findings from the study, the age pool of corneas for transplant should be expanded to include donors up to 75 years of age.

"The majority of donors have been older, but there has been a great prejudice against using older tissue for fear it was going to wear out faster. So many doctors pass on tissue from older donors," said Dr. Dwight Cavanagh, professor and vice chairman of ophthalmology at UT Southwestern, which transplants more than 200 corneas annually. Dr. Cavanagh served as principal investigator for the Dallas study.

"The data is very convincing - in fact, it is ice cold - that there isn't a difference between old and young tissue. What matters is how many cells are alive in the tissue regardless of the age of the donor. And there are plenty of people of older age who have high cell counts," said Dr. Cavanagh, medical director for the Transplant Services Center, which serves as the eye bank for Dallas-Fort Worth and surrounding areas.

UT Southwestern was one of 80 sites that participated in the Cornea Donor Study, which tracked patients over five years. Included were more than 20 patients from UT Southwestern's corneal transplant program.

"The results are exactly what you'd hope for - that there is absolutely no difference between a 25-year-old and a 65-year-old in terms of how long it's going to last. That means we can use a whole bunch of tissue now that there was prejudice against using," said Dr. Cavanagh, who was among the researchers who conceived and encouraged implementation of the study.

Expanded testing for cornea donors is expected to limit the number available for transplants, along with the increasing popularity of laser surgeries, which often rule out the cornea for transplants. Donated corneas not used for transplants are still used in research.

The findings are particularly important around Dallas-Forth Worth, which needs more donors, said Ellen Heck, a study co-author and executive director of the Transplant Services Center. The center has to import more than 200 corneas annually from outside the area's donor pool to meet local need.

"The reason this is important to look at is because we're an aging population," Ms. Heck said. "People are older now at the time of death than they used to be, so to meet an increasing need for corneas, we needed to know whether we can use corneas from older donors."

The Transplant Services Center currently accepts corneal tissue from donors up to age 70 and is reviewing the results of the study to determine whether it should expand the age range to 75, she said.

"We don't want to exclude potentially usable tissue when there is a waiting list," said Ms. Heck, who sits on the executive committee for the Cornea Donor Study. "We're always looking for donors and we always have people listed for corneal transplants. We do transplants every week in this community."

Locally, the Transplant Services Center had 642 corneal donors in 2007. Of those, 379, or about 60 percent, were age 50 or older. The center provides corneas for the North Texas region's roughly 15 corneal transplant surgeons on a first-come, first-served basis. Nationally, about 33,000 corneal transplants are performed annually, to replace diseased corneas or those damaged by trauma.

Cornea transplants have a high success rate (80 percent to 90 percent) and don't have the same rejection issues common to solid organs, such as livers and hearts. Nor do they require tissue matching. Donors with vision problems such as near- or far-sightedness or even glaucoma are not excluded unless their corneas are damaged.

The study was funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and published in the April issue of Ophthalmology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Corneas From Older Donors Perform Successfully After Five Years, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080401103941.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2008, April 4). Corneas From Older Donors Perform Successfully After Five Years, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080401103941.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Corneas From Older Donors Perform Successfully After Five Years, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080401103941.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins