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Eye bank and theatre factors for positive microbiological culture of corneoscleral rim and cornea storage medium in the real-world



To evaluate microbiological culture rate and positivity of corneoscleral rim and cornea storage media as well as possible risk factors for contamination with real-world data.


Data of consecutive cornea donors implanted in the reference centre from January 2013 to January 2018 were reviewed. Information about cornea characteristics (donor demographic data, endothelial cell density, type of cornea conservation, days of storage, and precut vs full-thickness tissue), and microbiological culture information (corneoscleral rim vs storage sample, positive result) were statistically analysed.


During the study period, 1369 corneas (737 donors) were implanted. Cultures were performed in 76.8% (n = 1052) of them and were positive in 3.2% of cases, mainly bacteria (84.4%). Corneas preserved in hypothermia represented 61.8% of all positive microbiology results (p < 0.001). Other analysed risk factors did not reach statistically significant association with microbiological positivity. None of the 34 cases with positive microbiological cultures reported ocular infection for the recipients in at least 6 months’ follow-up.


Microbiological tests rate in real-world practice are high despite not being compulsory. Organotypic cultured corneas showed a statistically less positivity in corneoscleral and storage medium than hypothermic ones, resulting in another advantage of this kind of cornea storage. Although precut corneas are thought to present less microbiological positivity, a statistically significant association was not found in the present study.

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Fig. 1: Flowchart of the study design (real-world data).


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Correspondence to Noelia Sabater-Cruz.

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Sabater-Cruz, N., Otero, N., Dotti-Boada, M. et al. Eye bank and theatre factors for positive microbiological culture of corneoscleral rim and cornea storage medium in the real-world. Eye 35, 3087–3093 (2021).

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