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Influence of the Precutting and Overseas Transportation of Corneal Grafts for Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty on Donor Endothelial Cell Loss

Yamazoe, Kyoko MD; Yamazoe, Katsuya MD; Shinozaki, Naoshi PhD; Shimazaki, Jun MD

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e3182732d88
Clinical Science

Purpose: The authors evaluated the changes in donor endothelial cell density (ECD) caused by the precutting and long-distance transportation of corneal grafts for Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) from overseas eye banks.

Methods: A total of 124 consecutive precut donor tissues for DSAEK were obtained from overseas eye banks. The ECD was examined before precutting, after precutting, and after overseas transportation. Changes in ECD secondary to the precutting procedure and after long-distance transportation were evaluated.

Results: The average ECD before and after precutting was 2637 ± 336 and 2578 ± 305, respectively (P = 0.0063). The ECD after overseas transportation was 2468 ± 272, which is a significant decrease compared with the ECD after the precutting procedure (P < 0.001). The average rate of ECD loss was 1.75% for precutting and 3.79% for overseas transportation, with a total ECD loss of 5.68%. The ECD before surgery was >2000 cells per square millimeter in all cases, and all grafts were available for DSAEK.

Conclusions: Imported precut donor corneas form overseas eye banks are a valuable source of donor corneas for DSAEK. The cell loss associated with precutting and the overseas transportation of corneal grafts on donor endothelial cell loss is acceptable.

*Department of Ophthalmology, Tokyo Dental College, Chiba, Japan

Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Reprints: Kyoko Yamazoe, Department of Ophthalmology, Tokyo Dental College, 5-11-13 Sugano, Ichikawa, Chiba 272-8513, Japan (e-mail:

The authors have no financial or conflicts of interest to disclose.

The authors had full access to all data in the study.

Received July 15, 2012

Accepted September 3, 2012

Copyright © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.