Prospective clinical evaluation of McCarey-Kaufman and organ culture cornea preservation media: 14-year follow-up

Wilhelmina J Rijneveld, Lies Remeijer, Gabriel van Rij, Willem Houdijn Beekhuis, Elisabeth Pels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


PURPOSE: To compare the outcome of corneal grafts preserved in McCarey-Kaufman (MK) medium versus organ culture after penetrating keratoplasties.

METHODS: Paired corneas were stored in McCarey medium for 2-44 hours (mean 21 hours) and in organ culture (OC) for 144 -240 hours (mean 192 hours). Penetrating keratoplasties were performed by 2 surgeons in 2 groups of patients with keratoconus, matched for age. Each pair was transplanted by the same surgeon using the same technique. Visual acuity, central corneal thickness, and central endothelial cell density were assessed at 166 +/- 7.8 months postoperatively.

RESULTS: Nine pairs of patients were recovered for a long-term follow-up. The mean endothelial cell densities for the MK and OC groups were 611 +/- 155 and 683 +/- 168 cells/mm, respectively, which were not significantly different. A first rapid cell loss rate of 2.07% and 2.52% per month and a second slow of 0.78% and 0.69% per month were observed in the respective groups. Individual values of best corrected visual acuity were all the same (value 1.00) for both groups. Corneal thicknesses were, respectively, 571 +/- 52 and 540 +/- 35 microm and were significantly different (P = 0.013).

CONCLUSIONS: After 14 years of penetrating keratoplasties performed with corneas stored in MK versus OC, no significant differences were observed in visual acuity, endothelial cell density, and cell loss. The observed thinner grafts after OC compared with MK could not be explained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1000
Number of pages5
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cell Count
  • Cornea/pathology
  • Culture Media/standards
  • Endothelium, Corneal/pathology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Culture Techniques/methods
  • Organic Chemicals/standards
  • Postoperative Period
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tissue Preservation/methods
  • Visual Acuity
  • Young Adult


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