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Gamma-irradiated Cornea Allograft for Glaucoma Surgery

Lawrence, Scott D. MD*; Netland, Peter A. MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/IJG.0b013e318241b9ff
Original Studies

Purpose: To describe the clinical outcomes and surgical applications of γ-irradiated cornea allograft in glaucoma surgery.

Materials and Methods: We reviewed 10 consecutive patients who underwent primary or secondary glaucoma procedures using sterile cornea allograft.

Results: Ten eyes of 10 patients (5 males, mean age 50 y) were treated with sterile, irradiated cornea allograft. Mean follow-up was 24 months (range, 22.4 to 26.8 mo). The allograft was used for coverage of a primary glaucoma tube shunt in 3 patients, coverage of a revised glaucoma tube shunt in 5 patients, tectonic support of a revised trabeculectomy flap in 1 patient, and coverage of subconjunctival prolene sutures following a surgical iridoplasty in 1 patient. The allografts were stable and biocompatibile in all 10 cases during the follow-up period, evidenced by maintained clarity of the corneal tissue, absence of clinical signs of immunologic rejection or ocular inflammation, and integrity of the sterile cornea and the conjunctiva over the graft. Cosmetic results were satisfactory and there were no complications during the follow-up period.

Conclusions: In this small case series, sterile, γ-irradiated cornea allograft appeared to be safe and effective when used in glaucoma and anterior segment surgical procedures. Our results suggest advantages of sterile cornea allograft for coverage of glaucoma drainage implant tubes, including tissue transparency, resilience, and ease of surgical use.

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*Department of Ophthalmology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA

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Presented in part at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Fort Lauderdale, FL, May 2, 2010.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Peter A. Netland, MD, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, 1300 Jefferson Park Avenue, P.O. Box 800715, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0715 (e-mail:;;

Received May 4, 2011

Accepted November 7, 2011

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.