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November 1970

Corneal CryopreservationII. Ultrastructural and Viability Changes

Author Affiliations

Milwaukee; Little Rock, Ark; Milwaukee
From the departments of ophthalmology (Drs. Van Horn and Schultz) and physiology (Dr. Van Horn), Marquette School of Medicine, Milwaukee; Electron Microscope Laboratory, Research Service, Veterans Administration Center, Wood, Wis (Dr. Van Horn); and the departments of pharmacology and ophthalmology, University of Arkansas Medical Center, Little Rock, Ark (Dr. Hanna).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1970;84(5):655-667. doi:10.1001/archopht.1970.00990040657020

Human corneas were preserved at the temperature of liquid nitrogen. Most of the corneal cells on thawing appeared to be intact although epithelial and stromal cells were electron-dense and flattened. Ultrastructural evidence of freeze-thawinduced injury was present in some of the endothelial cells, and others were electron-dense, distorted, and only partly attached to Descemet's membrane. All of the corneal cells in nonfrozen controls incorporated tritium uridine into RNA. Half of the endothelial cells in cryopreserved corneas did not incorporate the radioactively labeled compound. The remaining endothelial cells and all of the other corneal cells did so but at a reduced amount. In addition, the endothelial cells in cryopreserved corneas were more susceptible to ultrastructural damage during the incubation for radioautography as evidenced by lysis of 90% of the cells.