Cornea Society News

FALL 2015

Cornea Society International Organization Advancing the treatment of corneal disease

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News Fall 2015 Vol. 11, No. 4 A Cornea Society publication Cornea Society and EBAA Fall Educational Symposium wrap-up T he Cornea Society and Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) held the Fall Educational Sym- posium on November 13 at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. The full day of programming featured presenta- tions on a number of topics within the cornea subspecialty and included the presentation of the Claes H. Dohlman, MD, PhD, Award to Roger Steinert, MD, Irvine, Calif. Christopher Rapuano, MD, Philadelphia, presented the award to Dr. Steinert, with Dr. Dohlman in attendance. The award is presented to someone with a lifetime of teaching excellence in the field of cornea and external disease, according to Dr. Rapuano. Dr. Steinert has had teaching success over the years in a variety of organizations and institu- tions. What it really comes down to, Dr. Rapuano said, is residents, fellows, and many others regard him as a "superb" teacher. He has taught practicing cornea specialists around the world. "I can't tell you how much this means to me from all of you and Claes," Dr. Steinert said, accepting the award and noting that Dr. Dohlman has been his mentor since he started in medical school. During the meeting, George Rosenwasser, MD, Hershey, Pa., gave the R. Townley Paton Award Lecture on the topic of "Eye Banking 2015: Where We Came From and Where We're Going." The lecture covered the early history of eye banking, the development of endothelial keratoplasty through the eye of the innovators, and a summary of novel techniques in development. Dr. Rosenwasser shared the history of the EBAA. In the 1950s, 12 banks got together, but it wasn't until 1961 that the organization was actually formed. Then came the medical standards in the 1980s and the first medical advisory board in the 1990s. He spoke about a number of pioneers in the field, including Charles Tillett, MD, Jose Ignacio Barraquer, MD, Gerrit Melles, MD, Mark Terry, MD, Francis Price, MD, and Mark Gorovoy, MD, among others, who contributed to advancements in endo- thelial grafts and many of the current approaches to corneal transplantation. Dr. Rosenwasser said that some of his life-altering events involved his time with Dr. Terry and Mike Straiko, MD, working on DLEK, DSEK, and DSAEK procedures. With current data, it seems as though DMEK and DSAEK are neck and neck, while EK seems to dominate PK, with one possible reason being that it's environmentally friendly. From 2005– 2014 about 171,988 EK procedures were performed in the U.S., he said. So what's new in transplantation? "For the future, you have to think outside the box," Dr. Rosenwasser said. Possible options being studied include using half grafts, ex-vivo expansion, using no graft at all, tissue engineering, a cell-based approach for the treatment of corneal endothelial dysfunction, and a number of other possible approaches. Also during the symposium was the Richard C. Troutman, MD, DSc, Prize Lecture given by Mark Greiner, MD, Iowa City, Iowa, on "Diabetes Mellitus Increases Risk of Unsuccessful Graft Preparation in Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty: A Multicenter Study." His lecture focused on how diabetes may affect graft preparation in DMEK. Tears can sometimes occur in prepara- tion for DMEK, he said, and if a tear oc- curs in the central graft, this could then make it unsuitable for transplantation. It has been found that more preparation tears are occurring in tissue from diabet- ic donors. In a retrospective review, Dr. Greiner said there was a 15.3% failure rate for diabetic donors, while there was only about a 1.9% rate for non-diabetic donors. This means that there was an almost 9 times greater failure rate in Roger Steinert, MD, recieves the 2015 Claes H. Dohlman, MD, PhD Award presented by Christopher Rapauno, MD, and Claes Dohlman, MD, PhD, at the Fall Educational Symposium in Las Vegas. continued on page 3

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