Eye bank

Eye bank

Eye banks retrieve and store eyes for cornea transplants and research. US eye banks provide tissue for about 46,000 cornea transplants a year to treat conditions such as keratoconus and cornea scarring. The cornea is not the only part of the eye that can currently undergo transplantation. The sclera can also be used to repair recipient eyes in surgery. In contrast to other organs, there is an adequate supply of corneas for transplants.

When an organ/tissue donor dies, consent for donation is obtained either from a donor registry or from the donor's next of kin. A certified eye bank technician is then dispatched to the hospital, funeral home, or medical examiner's office to recover the donor's eyes. The whole eye, called a globe, is enucleated from the donor and taken back to the eye bank for processing. Or the cornea is excised in-situ and placed in storage media. A sample of the donor's blood is also collected to test for infectious diseases such as HIV, Hep B and C, CMV, RPR, and sometimes others. The blood type is also tested, even though corneas are not a vascular tissue and match typing is not necessary to transplantation. Back at the eye bank, if the cornea was not excised in-situ, the cornea and part of the white sclera are cut away from the rest of the eye and placed in a container with preservation medium, and the sclera is then cleaned and preserved in alcohol. The corneas undergo visual examination and evaluation underneath a slit-lamp and endothelial cell counts underneath a specular microscope. The corneas are rated, usually on a scale of 0-4 for donor suitability based on the specular and slit-lamp evaluations.

There is a wide variety of storage media used in eye banking. The most popular is Optisol GS, which can preserve cornea tissue for up to 14 days if kept refrigerated. Eusol-C is another commonly used media. Organ culture media can also preserve corneas and does not require refrigeration.


* [http://www.restoresight.org Eye Bank Association of America]
* [http://www.ialeb.org Iowa Lions Eye Bank]
* [http://www.sightlife.org SightLife]
*Chu W. "The Past Twenty-Five Years in Eye Banking". "Cornea" 2000:19(5); 754-765. PMID 11009327.
* [http://www.ijo.in/article.asp?issn=0301-4738;year=1996;volume=44;issue=1;spage=1;epage=2;aulast=Rao What is eye banking?]
* [http://www.ijo.in/article.asp?issn=0301-4738;year=1996;volume=44;issue=1;spage=47;epage=55;aulast=Saini Perspectives in eye banking]

Organ transplantation

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • eye bank — eye′ bank n. a place for the storage of corneas that have been removed from the eyes of people recently deceased, used for transplanting to the eyes of persons having corneal defects • Etymology: 1940–45, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • eye bank — noun a place for storing and preserving corneas that are obtained from human corpses immediately after death; used for corneal transplantation to patients with corneal defects • Hypernyms: ↑bank * * * noun : a storage place for a reserve supply… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Eye bank — A place to store corneas (the clear front window of the eye) for use in future keratoplasty (surgery to replace the cornea). * * * A place where corneas of eyes removed after death are preserved for subsequent keratoplasty. * * * eye bank n a… …   Medical dictionary

  • eye bank — n. place where human corneas and eye tissue are stored to be used in transplants …   English contemporary dictionary

  • eye bank — noun Date: 1944 a storage place for human corneas from the newly dead for transplant to the eyes of those blind from corneal defects …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • eye bank — a place for the storage of corneas that have been removed from the eyes of people recently deceased, used for transplanting to the eyes of persons having corneal defects. [1940 45, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • eye bank — noun a reserve store of human corneas kept for treatment of the blind …   Wiktionary

  • Lions Eye Bank — is the name of the various eye banks operated by the Lions Save Sight Foundation (LSSF), a not for profit foundation within the Lions Clubs International service organisation. The Banks store and prepare donated corneas for transplantation.… …   Wikipedia

  • Illinois Eye Bank — The Illinois Eye Bank is a division of Midwest Eye Banks that is dedicated to the restoration of sight. It recovers, evaluates and distributes human eye tissue for transplantation and also for research and training purposes. External links*… …   Wikipedia

  • bank — baŋk n a place where something is held available <data bank> esp a depot for the collection and storage of a biological product of human origin for medical use <a sperm bank> <an eye bank> see BLOOD BANK * * * (bangk) a stored… …   Medical dictionary

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