Transplanted corneas are more likely to fail in patients who have abnormal vessel growth in their eyes, which is known as corneal neovascularisation, a study has shown.
Published in a recent edition of the journal Ophthalmology, the findings also suggest a new treatment approach that could improve transplant success rates.
"The presence of corneal neovascularisation before surgery makes it about 30 per cent more likely that the transplant will fail and more than doubles the risk of graft rejection," said Dr Claus Cursiefen, who was involved in the study.
He went on to say that the risks of failure and rejection increase with the extent of vascularisation.
The findings suggest that these patients could benefit from treatment with growth-inhibiting drugs, such as bevacizumab or ranibizumab, before they undergo transplant surgery.
by Emily Tait