June 1995

Viability of Human Corneal Endothelium Following Optisol-GS Storage

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine (Drs Means, Geroski, and Edelhauser, Ms Hadley, and Mr Lynn), and the Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health (Mr Lynn), Emory University, Atlanta, Ga.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1995;113(6):805-809. doi:10.1001/archopht.1995.01100060131047

Objectives:  To evaluate endothelial viability of human corneas stored in glass vials and in viewing chambers (Alcon) for extended periods, and to compare endothelial viability of Optisol-GS—stored corneas with corneas excised from moist chamber—stored globes.

Methods:  Endothelial viability was assessed using two staining techniques. Endothelium from stored corneas was stained with trypan blue combined with alizarin red S or stained with calcein AM-ethidium homodimer. Both techniques were used to determine which method is a more sensitive indicator of cytotoxic change.

Results:  Corneas stored 4 to 21 days in Optisol-GS had a rate (mean±SE) of endothelial cell damage of 0.57%±0.30% per day in vials and 0.69%±0.27% in chambers. After storage intervals from 4 to 21 days, the Optisol-GS endothelium had an average decrease in viability of 9.5% to 16%. The endothelium of moist chamber eyes had a 44% to 59% decrease in viability after 2 to 5 days. After 24 hours, corneal endothelium of moist chamber eyes had less than 15% decrease in viability. Optisol-GS corneas stored for 35 to 56 days had greater than 50% decrease in endothelial viability. After 67 days, 95% to 100% of endothelial viability was lost.

Conclusions:  Corneas stored in Optisol-GS through 21 days at 4°C maintain a high percentage of viable endothelial cells. There was no significant difference of endothelial viability between corneas stored in glass vials or in viewing chambers (Alcon). A 50% loss of endothelial viability occurred in moist chamber—stored corneas after 2 days and by 35 days in corneas stored in Optisol-GS.