Panel-reactive antibody (PRA) testing has been widely adopted in solid organ transplantation for risk assessment in potential allograft recipients but has not been studied in the context of ophthalmic transplantation. The purpose of this study is to evaluate outcomes in patients undergoing ocular surface stem cell transplantation (OSST) for limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) relative to preoperative PRA level.
This is retrospective chart review of all eyes with documented PRA level that underwent OSST for LSCD between May 2000 and March 2019 at a single institution. Eyes with stable ocular surface but <1 year of follow-up and eyes without updated PRA before repeat OSST were excluded. Eyes were grouped by PRA <80% and ≥80%. The primary outcome was ocular surface failure, whereas the secondary outcome was clinical allograft rejection.
Sixty-nine surgeries met inclusion criteria, consisting of 54 living-related conjunctival limbal allografts, 5 keratolimbal allografts, and 10 combined living-related conjunctival limbal allografts/keratolimbal allografts (Cincinnati procedure). The most common etiologies for LSCD were aniridia (33%), chemical/thermal injury (28%), and contact lens associated (14%). Surface failure occurred in 5 of 12 eyes (58%) with PRA ≥80% versus 12 of 57 eyes (21%) with PRA <80% (P = 0.01). The relative risk for surface failure with PRA ≥80% was 2.8 [confidence interval (CI), 1.38–5.55]. There was no significant difference in acute rejection (P = 1).
Pretransplant PRA level is an important prognostic factor for ocular surface stability in eyes undergoing OSST for LSCD, with implications for donor selection, perioperative management, and systemic immunosuppression.