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    Frozen, fresh corneal donor carriers yield similar clinical outcomes

    Use of frozen tissue may increase availability of fresh tissue for other procedures while increasing accessibility of KPro surgery


    In commenting on the use of frozen tissue, Dr. Muzychuk noted that deep-freezing corneal tissue destroys all keratocytes and endothelial cells, rendering tissue devoid of viable cells while providing a collagen scaffold onto which host keratocytes can migrate and become established.

    Frozen tissue is not, however, the only option that has been explored. Other alternatives include gamma-irradiated corneal tissue and glycerol dehydrated tissue.

    “The 5-year results of our study demonstrated that there are no significant differences between fresh and frozen carrier grafts in implant retention, visual rehabilitation, or complications, particularly those such as uveitis or corneal melts, which may reasonably have been expected to increase,” Dr. Muzychuk said.

    He noted the limitations of the present study included a relatively small sample size, the possibility of selection bias introduced by the loss of patients during enrollment for the extension phase, and the small number of patients in the worst prognostic categories for KPro implantation.

    In this study—thought to be the first of its kind to report the long-term safety and efficacy of an alternative to fresh corneal graft carriers for KPro surgery—it has been demonstrated that frozen corneal graft carriers offer similar clinical outcomes as fresh tissue, he noted.

    Dr. Muzychuk summarized that use of frozen tissue may increase the availability of fresh tissue for use during other procedures and increase the accessibility of KPro surgery worldwide, without compromise to the visual rehabilitation or safety of the device.


    Adam K. Muzychuk, MD

    E: [email protected]

    This article was adapted from Dr. Muzychuk’s presentation at the 2016 meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. The investigators have no financial interest in any aspect of this report.


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