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Andrea Cruzat, Anita Shukla, Eleftherios Paschalis, Fabiano Cade, Claes Dohlman; Corneal Xenografts: Carrier for the Boston Keratoprosthesis?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):4126.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To study the use of corneal xenografts from different species as Boston Keratoprosthesis (Kpro) carrier in a rabbit model in order to possibly increase donor tissue availability for the Developing World.
Three types of surgeries implanting xenografts into Dutch belted rabbit corneas were performed. 1) To assess tissue response, gamma-radiated porcine corneas, gamma-radiated elasmobranch corneas and fresh porcine control corneas were inserted into rabbit corneal stroma. 2) To assess graft rejection in a standard penetrating keratoplasty model, gamma-radiated porcine corneas, gamma radiated elasmobranch corneas and fresh porcine control corneas were transplanted into rabbit corneas. 3) To assess the xenograft tissue as a Boston Kpro carrier, gamma-radiated porcine corneas were transplanted as Kpro carriers into rabbit corneas and were compared to autologous rabbit cornea as controls.
Our preliminary data shows: 1) Intrastromal xenografts: at 30 days, all fresh porcine controls showed signs of melting whereas the gamma-radiated porcine and gamma-radiated elasmobranch corneas remained intact without signs of rejection or failure. 2) Penetrating keratoplasties in all corneas showed signs of inflammation, opacification and neovascularization after 30 days. 3) Boston Keratoprosthesis: At 30 days, gamma-radiated porcine keratoprosthesis remained intact without signs of rejection or failure - similar in appearance to autologous graft keratoprosthesis.
Although corneal tissue is available for use as carrier of Boston Keratoprosthesis in the United States, large parts of the Developing World lack such supply. Gamma-radiated xenografts could be an inexpensive solution for the worldwide need for such corneal tissue. Gamma-radiation seems to reduce the xeno-immunity and risk of rejection. It secures sterility and allows easy storage and shipment. Thus, preliminary results show promise for Gamma-radiated corneal xenografts as carriers for the Boston Keratoprosthesis.
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