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John Gonzales, David Gritz, Patrick Gore, Roy Chuck; Examination of Endothelial Cell Count in HIV-Negative and Positive Donors. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):1667.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To describe endothelial cell counts in corneal donors with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) compared to those without HIV infection.
This is a retrospective, cohort comparison study drawn from the records of a large regional eye bank. Corneas that were procured which were later found to belong to a donor who was HIV-positive during the period from 2008-2012 were compared to corneas that were procured from donors who were HIV-negative from January 1, 2012-July 2, 2012. Donor corneas were classified as having HIV-1/2 based on serologic evidence obtained from either the presence of HIV antibodies, a positive viral nucleic acid amplification test (NAT), or both. Demographic data (age, gender, race) was also collected from the same database for both cases and control. Phakic status was collected at the time of slitlamp examination, which also reported in the database for cases and controls. Demographic data was compared between cases and controls using Chi-squared and t-tests for categorical and continuous variables, respectively. A generalized linear model was built to include all the demographic/categorical variables (including HIV status) as well as the continuous dependent variable (endothelial cell count).
The donor cornea database during the target period included endothelial cell counts in 1214 people: 20 HIV-positive cases and 1194 HIV-negative controls. The mean endothelial cell count in the HIV-positive cases was 2608/mm2 while HIV-negative controls had a mean endothelial cell count of 2621/mm2 (standard deviation 333 and 432, respectively). There was no statistically significant difference in endothelial cell count in donors with or without HIV infection after controlling for age (p=0.89). Donors of African and Asian descent in the HIV-negative group had lower endothelial cell counts compared to Caucasians (as the reference group).
Comparison of donor cornea endothelial cell counts between HIV-negative and HIV-positive individuals has not been previously described. We did not find a statistically significant difference in endothelial cell counts due to HIV-infection status. Since the patients were not known to be HIV-positive according to their medical records and interview with family members, it may be that the infection was relatively early in these patients.
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