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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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CORNEA/REFRACTIVE UPDATE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-43

The use of glycerol-preserved corneas in the developing world


1 Department of Ophthalmology, Division of International Ophthalmology, University of Utah, John A. Moran Eye Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Division of International Ophthalmology, University of Utah, John A. Moran Eye Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84132 & Himalayan Cataract Project, Waterbury, VT 05676, USA
3 Himalayan Cataract Project, Waterbury, VT 05676, USA

Correspondence Address:
Michael R Feilmeier
Department of Ophthalmology, Division of International Ophthalmology, University of Utah, 65 Mario Capecchi Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84132
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.61215

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Corneal opacity is the third leading cause of blindness in the developing world and encompasses a wide variety of infectious, inflammatory and degenerative eye diseases. Most caes of corneal blindness are treatable with partial or full-thickness keratoplasty, provided adequate corneal tissue and surgical skill is available. However, access to sight-restoring keratoplasty in developing countries is limited by the lack of developed eye banking networks and a critical shortage of tissue suitable for transplantation. Beyond the developed world, corneal transplantation using fresh corneal tissue (FCT) is further hindered by unreliable storage and transportation facilities, unorganized distribution networks, the cost-prohibitive nature of imported tissue, unreliable compliance with medications and follow-up instructions and inadequate health and education services. Glycerol-preserved corneas overcome many of these limitations inherent to the use of FCT. As surgical innovation in lamellar corneal surgery expands the potential use of acellular corneal tissue, long-term preservation techniques are being revisited as a way to increase availability of corneal tissue to corneal surgeons throughout the developing world. Herein, we discuss the advantages of using and the applications for glycerol-preserved corneal tissue throughout the developing world.


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