The incidence of hepatitis C virus positive serological test results among cornea donors

Michael Cahane*, Adiel Barak, Olga Goller, Isaac Avni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. We have noticed that the incidence of positive serological tests of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among cornea donors in our eye bank is higher than expected. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of these positive findings and identify the contributory risk factors. Methods. All corneas procured between June 1993 and June 1997 were included in this retrospective study. In all cases a routine work-up, including serological testing of donors' sera and evaluation of the procured corneas, was performed prior to corneal transplantation. Donors found to be positive for HCV antibodies were compared to our general population of corneal donors, with respect to the demographic, serological and ophthalmological data obtained during the transplantation work-up. Results. All 851 corneas procured from 438 donors were included. Antibodies to HCV were found in 29 donors (6.6%). Following positive test results, 57 corneas (6.7%) were discarded. The time from donors' death to cornea procurement was significantly longer among HCV-positive patients than in the general donor population (12.3 vs. 9.3 h, p < 0.0003). No other differences were detected between the two groups. Conclusion. Delay in harvesting of donated corneas may give rise to false positive HCV-antibodies test results, which may be partially responsible for the high rate of positive findings among cornea donors, with consequent tissue wastage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalCell and Tissue Banking
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cornea
  • Donors
  • Eye bank
  • Hepatitis C
  • Serology testing


Dive into the research topics of 'The incidence of hepatitis C virus positive serological test results among cornea donors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this