Purpose: To compare the performance of Kerasave (AL.CHI.MI.A. S.R.L., Ponte San Nicolò, Italy) containing 2.5 μg/mL of amphotericin B and Optisol-GS (Bausch & Lomb, Bridgewater, NJ) cold corneal storage media on donor corneas during routine eye bank procedures.
Methods: Forty-four paired donor corneas were preserved after swab sample collection and povidone-iodine decontamination. Right and left corneas were immersed in Kerasave and Optisol-GS, respectively, and stored at 4°C before the initial evaluation. Paired corneas were assigned to processing subgroups for penetrating keratoplasty (n = 20), Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (n = 14), or Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (n = 10). Endothelial cell density, central corneal thickness, slit-lamp examination, and endothelial cell damage were assessed at different intervals. Sterility testing was performed on media samples.
Results: At the initial evaluation, after 25.6 ± 3.2 hours of storage, the mean central corneal thickness of all corneas in Kerasave (n = 22) was greater than those in Optisol-GS (n = 22) (571 ± 12 μm vs. 526 ± 10 μm, respectively; P = 0.006). All other metrics were comparable between Kerasave and Optisol-GS in processing subgroups at all time intervals. Corneal swabs were positive in 90% of corneas before decontamination with povidone-iodine. At the initial evaluation, fungal contamination was detected in 24% and 19% of Kerasave and Optisol-GS, respectively. At the final evaluation, no fungi was detected in Kerasave and 1 Optisol-GS sample was positive (P = 0.999).
Conclusions: Metrics of corneas stored in Kerasave and Optisol-GS were comparable. Kerasave might be considered an antifungal-possessing alternative to Optisol-GS.