Corneal graft survival
Replacement of diseased or injured corneal tissue, with that from a deceased donor, can restore sight and greatly improve quality of life for many individuals.
The Flinders University Department of Ophthalmology has lead the way in evaluation of this procedure in Australia, with the establishment of the Australian Corneal Graft Registry in 1985.
Laboratory based research also examines potential ways to extend the survival of these grafts.
Funding is provided by the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation Authority (DonateLife) for the operation of the ACGR, and through the Perpetual Trustee Company Ltd for project FR2013/1310: Improving the quality of human donor corneas for corneal transplantation.
Research focus areas
The Australian Corneal Graft Registry (ACGR)
The purpose of the Registry is to collect information that will inform clinical practice and to identify risk factors for poor patient outcomes. It currently contains records of over 33,000 corneal transplants, some of which have been followed for over 30 years.
- All information is de-identified, to maintain confidentiality of the database
- Information collected at the time of graft, and at points of follow-up, includes:
- Demographic characteristics of the recipient and donor
- The Eye Bank practices and the operative procedure
- The graft and visual outcome
- Relevant post-operative events and treatment
- Major reports are open access.
- Additional individual feedback is provided to contributing surgeons and Eye Banks.
Improving the quality of human donor corneas for corneal transplantation
The two leading causes of corneal graft survival are allograft rejection and endothelial cell failure.
Animal models provide a means to better understand the causes of these complications and enable exploration of potential ways to prolong graft survival, through novel treatments.