Trends in Corneal Transplantation and Characteristics of Donors in the Chongqing Eye Bank, China: A Retrospective Study, 1999-2018

H.D. Tan, M. Lin, Q.Q. Gou, A.J. Li*, F.J. Gu, Q. Liu, Q. Zhang, M. Xu, A. Kijlstra, P.Z. Yang*, H. Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aim: This study aimed to analyze corneal transplantation trends and voluntary donor characteristics at the Chongqing Eye Bank in China.</p>Methods: We retrospectively reviewed and analyzed data from January 1, 1999, to December 31, 2018, covering 5,397 preregistered voluntary donors, 1,955 actual donors, 3,910 donated tissues, and 2,374 corneal transplantations.</p>Results: The 5,397 preregistered donors included 13 ethnic groups, with an overall mean age of 39.6 years (SD 21.5) and 3,010 were women (55.8%). The most prevalent education level was college and above (2,546, 47.2%), and the most common ethnic group was Han (5,335, 98.85%). Of the 1,955 actual donors, the male-to-female ratio was 3.3, and the mean age was 57.1 (SD 23.0 years). Based on population size in 2018, Jiangbei county was the most active in donation willingness, with ~60 x 10(-6) per capita, and the Yuzhong county was the most active in cornea donations, with ~451 x 0(-6) per capita. Of the 3,910 donated corneas, 2,540 (65.0%) were clinically used. Of those not used, 978 (71.4%) were rejected for poor corneal quality. The 2,374 (93.5%) corneal transplantation procedures were done at the Department of Ophthalmology of the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University and the rest (n = 166, 6.5%) were performed in other centers. Of those 2,374 corneal transplantations, there were 1,671 penetrating keratoplasty (70.39%), 700 anterior lamellar keratoplasty (29.49%), and three corneal endothelial transplantations in our center (0.13%). The number of annual corneal transplantations increased by nearly 10 times, from 35 cases in 1999 to 327 cases in 2018. Among them, cases of penetrating keratoplasty and anterior lamellar keratoplasty increased from 27, and eight cases in 1999 to 230 and 94 cases in 2018, respectively. Infectious keratitis (37.0%) was the leading indication for keratoplasty, followed by corneal scar (19.8%). Over the study period, corneal scars dropped from the first (41.1% in 1999-2003) to the second indication (20.5% in 2014-2018), while infectious keratitis advanced to take the lead, ranging from 12.2% in 1999-2003 to 26.3% in 2014-2018.</p>Conclusion: Our study reports corneal donation and transplantation trends in Chongqing over 20 years, showing that infectious keratitis is a leading indication for keratoplasty and that penetrating keratoplasty and anterior lamellar keratoplasty show upward trends. The analysis further suggests that a potential preregistered cornea donor is a female Han, with a higher education level.</p>
Original languageEnglish
Article number750898
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in medicine
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2021


  • a retrospective study
  • corneal transplantation
  • donor characteristics
  • eye bank
  • transplantation

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