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Indications for corneal transplantation in Thailand between 1996 and 2008


Background: Corneal transplantation is the most frequent organ transplantation worldwide. Many indications for corneal transplantation have been proposed and several novel indications have been reported in various studies. Nevertheless, there is no national data from Thailand to date.

Objective: We identified indications and evolving trends of corneal transplantations in Thailand between January 1996 and December 2008

Methods: Corneal graft registry records of the Thai Red Cross Eye Bank during January 1996 and December 2008 were retrospectively reviewed. Diagnosis of the recipient eye is considered as an indication for transplantation. Patients’ demographic data, diagnosis, operating hospitals, and number of collected corneal tissues annually were collected. Analyzed data were shown in scattergram and simple linear regression. A p value of 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: Among 3,582 records, 2,802 (78.2%) had the transplantation done for an optical reason. Others were performed due to either therapeutic or tectonic reasons. None of the cases was operated for a cosmetic concern. Mean age of patients was 51.8 years. Male (56.8%) was slightly predominant over female (43.2%). Corneal scar (20.44%) was the most frequent indicated reasons followed by corneal ulcer (19.15%), pseudophakic and aphakic bullous keratopathy (16.81%), corneal dystrophies (11.08%) and regraft (10.75%). PBK/ABK and regraft showed an increasing trend during the study period.

Conclusion: Common indications for corneal transplantation in Thailand were corneal scar, corneal ulcer, PBK/ ABK, corneal dystrophies and regraft respectively. Due to imbalanced demand and supply of donated corneas, not all of the patients received corneal transplantations in a timely manner. As a result, this study might not truly represent the actual indications for corneal transplantation in Thailand. With continued development in donation awareness, financial support and inter-organizational collaborations and healthcare as a whole, adequate numbers of corneal supply might be possible in the future.

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