To determine whether donor or tissue characteristics of corneas for transplantation are predictive of reported adverse events occurring in the early postoperative period.
We compared preoperative donor and tissue characteristics of corneal tissues with or without reported adverse events from 2007 to 2011. Adverse event categories included primary graft failure, infection, surgical causes, recipient-related etiologies, and other causes. We included corneas transplanted via penetrating keratoplasty (PK) and endothelial keratoplasty (EK).
Of 20,431 tissues included, there were 251 (1.2%) reported adverse events. Among all transplanted tissues, 67% were used for PK, and 33% were used for EK. The adverse event occurrence rate was 0.78% in PK versus 2.12% in EK (P < 0.0001). The donor characteristics associated with adverse events were male gender (P = 0.01) and cancer history (P = 0.03), which were associated with primary graft failure. In PK, the most frequently reported causes within 106 adverse events were recipient-related causes (n = 41, 0.30% of total PK tissues) and infection (n = 31, 0.23%). In EK, the most frequently reported causes within 145 adverse events were surgical complications (n = 72, 1.05% of total EK tissues) and primary graft failure (n = 41, 0.60%).
The rate of reported adverse events was low. Adverse events more commonly occurred after EK. Increased rate of primary graft failure was associated with male donors and donors with a cancer history. Postcut tissue thickness, only in the year 2007, was the sole tissue characteristic associated with adverse events.