Use of organ-cultured precut tissue is safe for DSAEK

ROME — The use of organ-cultured precut tissue is safe for endothelial keratoplasty, according to Diego Ponzin, MD, director of the Veneto Eye Bank in Venice, Italy.

At the winter meeting of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, he said surgeons who perform Descemet's stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty should rely on certified eye banks with validation protocols for storage, cutting and evaluation of tissues to ensure they are using safe lamellar grafts.

"Validated laboratory procedures are necessary to test tissue viability and microbiology, optimize costs and surgical techniques," Dr. Ponzin said.

Eye banks can also guarantee the traceability of grafts, and this is crucial for lamellar procedures, which allow for multiple use of tissues.

The Veneto Eye Bank is continuously improving its standards and methods for preparing and storing human tissues.

"In 2008, we delivered 218 surgical precut lamellae and 172 corneas that were prepared for DSAEK in the surgical theater. Although it is difficult to trace all the surgeons who did all the procedures and have accurate reports from them, the clinical results that we were reported were in general very good," he said.