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Eye (Lond). 2005 Oct;19(10):1106-14.

The value of corneal transplantation in reducing blindness.

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Cornea Service, LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India.



To analyse the role of keratoplasty in reducing world blindness due to corneal diseases.


Review of published literature. We collected and analysed articles published in the English language literature related to the prevalence and causes of blindness in different parts of the world, causes of corneal blindness, and outcome of corneal transplantation for various corneal diseases.


A total of 80% of the world's blind live in developing countries. Retinal diseases are the most important causes of blindness (40-54%) in established economy nations while cataract (44-60%) and corneal diseases (8-25%) are the most common causes of blindness in countries with less developed economies. Keratitis during childhood, trauma, and keratitis during adulthood resulting in a vascularized corneal scar and adherent leucoma are the most frequent causes of corneal blindness in developing countries. Corneal diseases are responsible for 20% of childhood blindness. Nearly 80% of all corneal blindness is avoidable. The outcome of keratoplasty for vascularized corneal scar and adherent leucoma is unsatisfactory, necessitating repeat surgery in a high proportion of these cases. Other barriers for keratoplasty in these nations are suboptimal eye banking, lack of trained human resources, and infrastructure.


Since the developing world carries most of the load of corneal blindness and the major causes of corneal blindness are corneal scar and active keratitis, development of corneal transplantation services need a comprehensive approach encompassing medical standards in eye banking, training of cornea specialists and eye banking personnel and exposure of ophthalmologists to care of corneal transplants for better follow-up care. However, concerted efforts should be made to develop and implement prevention strategies since most corneal blindness is preventable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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