- Glycerol preserved cornea can be used as a cost effective option for corneal transplants
- Study substantiates its success and efficiency
- Considering the scarcity for eye donors, GPC can be a viable option
Glycerol preservation is the technique to store corneal tissue for a long term. Due to the water-absorbing nature along with other properties made glycerol useful to preserve cornea.
It is a difficult task to transport and keep infection-free of corneal tissues without any preservation method. Meanwhile, the corneal disorders are considered as the third largest problem for visual impairment across the world, for which Glycerol Preserved Cornea (GPC) can be an answer.
According to health experts, most corneal defects are treatable with partial or full Keratoplasty, the corneal transplantation.
A recent study explored the keratoplasty surgeries conducted during October 2011 and December 2015, evaluating its success and defects. The study substantiated that using glycerol preserved cornea helps in conducting successful keratoplasty.
The study included 255 keratoplasties conducted in between the particular years and used GPC with 1 to 3 months storage. The major problem for the keratoplasty was infectious keratitis with the perforated cornea.
The study observed that GPC keratoplasty helps preserve the visual acuity of patients with less side effects. Though after surgery some had glaucoma, for the majority of participant population, the surgery was a success and improved visual outcomes.
Researchers suggested that using GPC would eliminate problems related to costs, transport, storage and availability of cornea. Lack of T-cells in GPC eliminates the issue of rejection in the receivers’ body. It also helps reduce the use of immune-suppressive agents and thereby reducing the cost of treatment. Meanwhile, the research found out chances of 10 to 53 percent of the development of glaucoma after surgery.
Considering the severe shortage of donor’s eyes in India and other developing countries, preservation of available cornea is really important for future use. Thus GPC is a viable option with a reasonably successful rate in surgeries.
As per statistics, India needs 20 folds more eye donors than existing to meet the real needs.