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Do Donated Corneas Become Transplanted Corneas? The Causes of Discard in Southern Brazil

Almeida de Freitas, Rosane, PhD*; Dell'Agnolo, Cátia Millene, PhD; Augusto de Melo, Willian, PhD; de Andrade, Luciano, PhD‡,§; Pimentel, Rafael Rodrigo, Bel; Pelloso, Sandra Marisa, PhD; Dalva de Barros Carvalho, Maria, PhD

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000001856
Clinical Science

Purpose: To analyze the number of discarded donated corneas and the causes associated with discard in southern Brazil.

Methods: This retrospective, cross-sectional, and analytic study of donor corneal discards and their associated factors and geospatial distribution was based on a macroregional strategy conducted from 2011 to 2015 in Paraná, southern Brazil. The dataset included all cornea donations from patients who died of cardiac arrest at ages between 3 and 70 years.

Results: A total of 9290 donor corneas were identified from 4645 donor patients; of these corneas, 4235 (45.6%) were discarded and 5055 (54.4%) transplanted. Mean age of the donors was 51.13 ± 14.30 years. The main causes of discard were positive serology (49.6%), corneal viability (19.8%), corneal tissue quality (8.5%), and others (16.0%). The discard rate was higher in the 50 to 64 year age group.

Conclusions: The corneal discard rate was high in all macroregions studied, with positive serology, viability, and quality of the donated corneas being the main causes of discard. Discards were more prevalent in older age groups (50–64 years and 65 or above age groups). Considering the presented results, the assessment process of potential cornea donors should be changed to reduce losses and costs.

*Health Sciences Department, University Hospital of Maringá, State University of Maringá, Maringá, Paraná, Brazil;

Women's Health Research Group, University Hospital of Maringá, State University of Maringá, Paraná, Brazil;

Health Sciences Department, State University of Paraná, Paranavaí, Paraná, Brazil;

§DGHI Global Injury Collaboration, Duke University, Durham, NC; and

Nursing Management Residence, State University of Londrina, Paraná, Brazil.

Correspondence: Rosane Almeida de Freitas, Health Sciences Department, University Hospital of Maringá, State University of Maringá, Colombo Ave, 5790, Maringá, Paraná, Brazil 87020-900 Health Sciences Program 126 block (e-mail:

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

Received June 11, 2018

Accepted November 28, 2018

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