Corneal transplant effectiveness 'may vary by gender of donor'

15 July 2016

A new study has indicated that the gender of the donor and the recipient could affect the success of corneal transplant operations.

Led by the University of Liverpool, the research looked at more than 18,000 UK patients who had undergone a first corneal transplant, finding that women who received a cornea from a male donor often experienced poorer outcomes.

More than 80 per cent of all patients still had a functioning graft at five years, but a higher proportion of male-to-female transplants failed or were rejected during this time, when compared to gender-matched transplants.

For every 1,000 people transplanted with a gender-matched cornea, it was shown that 180 failed on average, whereas the proportion increased to 220 for male-to-female mismatched grafts.

If these findings can be confirmed, they could lead to a change in practices, whereby corneas from male donors could be allocated to male recipients, while those from female donors would go to either gender.

Study leader Professor Stephen Kaye, from the University of Liverpool and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, said: "This would be relatively straightforward to put into place without delay in donor tissue allocation to patients or any significant added cost. The long-term impact this could have on patient care may be substantial."

Posted by Jeanette Royston


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