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 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.
“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.
Interested donors can contact the Transplant Services Center at 214-648-2609 or go to www.utsouthwestern.edu.
Dr. James McCulley, chairman of ophthalmology, Dr. Wayne Bowman, professor of opthalmology, Drs. Vinod Mootha and Steven Verity, both associate professors of opthalmology, and Dr. Henry Gelender, clinical associate professor, were also involved in the study.
Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/ophth to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in opthalmology.
Russell Rian | EurekAlert!
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
24.10.2016 | Life Sciences
24.10.2016 | Life Sciences