Rekha Gyanchand1, Vineeta Pai2

Requirement of donor cornea is essential to target the corneal blind. The best method to procure such corneas is from any major hospitals, which has a mortuary facility. The eye donation with hanging as the cause of death is very common in a mortuary setup. Some factors that are concerning regarding corneas procured from death due to hanging is the prolonged exposure of the cornea at the time of death, the exact time of death is not known, most of the cadavers are refrigerated for investigations as these arrive at the mortuary usually at night. Due to these reasons, the corneal surgeons are hesitant to use corneas procured from death due to hanging for corneal transplantation. Analysing these corneas would contribute to a great extent to the donor cornea pool in providing sight to the corneal blind, especially as majority are young individuals who commit suicide by hanging. In this study, the donor corneas were analysed with regards to corneal epithelial defect, endothelial cell morphology and utilisation of these corneas for transplantation.
The aim of the HCRP study is to analyse the effect of death due to hanging on donor cornea. 1. Corneal epithelial status. 2. Corneal endothelial cell morphology. 3. Utilisation of corneas for transplantation.
Donor corneas from 22 donors who died due to hanging were procured from hospital mortuary. All the 44 corneas were transplanted. Various parameters like demography, death to enucleation time, cadaver preservation in cold storage, endothelial cell density and utilisation of cornea for transplantation were noted.
Design- Retrospective study.
Statistical Analysis- Descriptive statistics, Pearson and Spearman correlation and Chi-square test were used to test the hypotheses.
Out of the 44 corneas analysed, 75% of the donors were refrigerated as a part of medicolegal investigations protocol. The average DTP time was 12 hours in refrigerated group and 5 hours in non-refrigerated group. Preservation to transplant time was 3.16 days in refrigerated donors and 2.45 days in non-refrigerated donors. Donor epithelial defects were significant in both groups. The number of corneas used for Penetrating Keratoplasty (PKP) was less in refrigerated group (61%) when compared to non-refrigerated group (91%). Graft clarity were comparable in both groups. The postoperative course was uneventful in non-refrigerated group. In the refrigerated group, 6% of cases had primary graft failure and 6% had rejection.
It is safe to collect eyes from donors where death has occurred due to hanging. The refrigerated cadaver gives us additional time for motivation of the donor family and also provide us a large pool of younger corneas for transplantation. The mortuary department does provide information regarding the time of death. The corneal epithelial and endothelial cell morphology is fit to be used for corneal transplantation. The transplantation results were also satisfactory.