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    Older corneas "just as good" for transplant

    Corneas from donors up to the age of 75 are suitable for transplantation, according to a study published in the April 2008 issue of Ophthalmology.

    Edward Holland, MD of the University of Rochester Medical Center, US and colleagues on the Cornea Donor Study conducted the multicentre prospective, double-masked, controlled five-year trial of 1090 subjects to establish a comparison between graft survival in tissue from donors under the age of 65 with tissue taken from older donors.

    Probability of graft failure, defined as three months’ consecutive impact on vision due to corneal opacity or regraft requirement, was 14% across both donor age groups (<66 years and ≥66 years). There was no statistically significant correlation between donor age and graft failure or survival, nor was there a statistically significant difference between age groups over the causes of graft failure.

    Thus the researchers concluded that donor age is not a significant variable in graft failure. Dr Holland estimates that this will increase the pool of available donor corneas by 25–30%.

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