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Temporal Variability in the Number of Medically Eligible Corneas Released for Glycerol Preservation: the Global Sight Network Experience
Christine A. Curcio, PhD, April Gilbert, CEBT, Ellen Kerns, CEBT, Alan S. Blake, CEBT
cornea transplantation, eye banks, glaucoma surgery, keratoplasty
CONTEXT: The Global Sight Network (GSN) is a consortium of 31 United States eye banks that repurpose medically eligible corneas unsuitable for penetrating or endothelial keratoplasty for other surgeries by preservation in glycerol.
OBJECTIVE: Corneas received from partner eye banks from 2008-2011 were analyzed for demographics and timing of tissue release to GSN.
METHODS: Tissues were divided into 2 classes, those that were deemed unsuitable due to low endothelial cell density, stromal scar, or small central clear zone (Lower Quality), and those that could not be placed before the 14-day expiration of intermediate storage medium (Unable to Place).
RESULTS: Analysis for weekly variations in availability indicated that Lower-Quality tissues were released more consistently across days of the week than Unable-to-Place tissues, which were released more frequently on Mondays and Thursdays. Analysis for seasonal variations in availability indicated that Lower-Quality and Unable-to-Place tissues were modulated by different factors, beyond overall death rate.
CONCLUSIONS: This analysis of medically eligible corneas released for glycerol preservation has suggested that United States eye banks efficiently manage their tissue recovery rates in meeting domestic needs and revealed new opportunities for tissue placement. The results of the present study also point to new opportunities for tissue placement, including glaucoma therapy and even emergent needs for keratoplasties in international settings.
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