New research could help Saving Sight and other eye banks more easily identify donated tissue which may be better suited for research than transplantation simply by examining donor medical records. A recent study of 12,703 cornea donors found use of certain topical glaucoma medications was associated with lower corneal endothelial cell density of donors. Cell density is an important factor in determining the best use of donated eye tissue.
By using this information to evaluate potential eye donor cases, Saving Sight and other eye banks could focus on recovering tissue for transplant which provide the best chance for successful transplants. Other tissue could be recovered specifically for research purposes to help save sight through advances in medical practice.
Saving Sight Senior Director of Business Development Patrick Gore, RN contributed to the research as a co-author. Gore said this research is exciting because it demonstrates how eye banks can leverage data to make decisions.
“This is the tip of the iceberg in terms of how eye banks can leverage donor information to make data-driven decisions and be the best stewards possible of the precious gift of sight donors give through eye and tissue donation,” Gore said.
The findings were presented at the Cornea Society and Eye Bank Association of America’s Fall Educational Symposium in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 13, 2015 by Gabriel Rand, MA. In addition to Gore and Rand, tthe study was also coauthored by Ji Won Kwon, MD, PhD; Kyong Jin Cho, MD, PhD; Mitchell D. McCartney, PhD; and Roy S. Chuck, MD, PhD.