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Year : 1976  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 40-41

Second World Corneal Congress -(A report)


Correspondence Address:
R P Dhanda

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How to cite this article:
Dhanda R P. Second World Corneal Congress -(A report). Indian J Ophthalmol 1976;24:40-1

How to cite this URL:
Dhanda R P. Second World Corneal Congress -(A report). Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1976 [cited 2021 Apr 19];24:40-1. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1976/24/2/40/31535

The Second World Corneal Congress was held in Washington after 12 years interval, Dr. Jerry H. King Jr. who had also organized the First Congress explained that the II Congress being held after 12 years was considered necessary because of the developments, basic and clinical, in the problems of cornea in recent years. There were 127 speaker participants in the congress representing most parts of the World including number of about 300 delegates registered for the congress.

The subjects discussed included newer concepts in the understanding of the physiology of the cornea supported by electron microscopic studies and electron scanning of the endothelium of the cornea.

It was generally agreed that best donor material is still the cornea from fresh donor eyes, and the best donor eye balls are those removed after accidental deaths. It has been established that aqueous humour after death has a harmful autolytic influence on the corneal endothelium. The cornea should therefore be removed at the earliest from the donor eyes. It would be preferable that pending surgery a corneal button should be removed and preserved instead of preserving the whole eye ball. It was further dependably reported that use of normal saline for washing corneal-scleral button has detiterious effect on the corneal endothelium. Balanced salt solution (Ringer's Solution) is therefore better used in preference to normal saline.

Extensive studies have indicated that one of the best medium for preserving excised corneo-scleral button is in M.K. culturel medium 199. The corneal endothelium preserved in this medium has been found to remain viable up to 3 days and usably viable even up to 7 days. This is a definite advantage particularly when transporting corneas to eye surgeons in distant countries.

From India Dr. R.P. Dhanda was invited as Guest Speaker to the Congress. He presented a paper on "Malnutrition and the Cornea." He reported that night blindness is the only true manifestation of vitamin-A deficiency, while conjunctival involvement and keratomalacia are complex multiple deficiency syndromes. His observations were based on clinical, bio-chemical and electro retinography studies. It was emphasised that it would be incorrect to state that mass distribution of vitamin-A in the poorer communities of the developing countries will eradicate keratomalacia. He suggested that any national or international programme to eradicate keratomalacia should take these observations into account. This paper evoked an animated discussion in which the nutrition division of U.S.A 1.D. representatives participated. It was mentioned that a proper level of retinal binding proteins in the blood is necessary for the transport of vitamin-A. Dr. Dhanda explained that this may not be the only factor because most cases of night blindness due to vitamin-A deficiency quickly respond to vitamin-A therapy even among the severely ill nourished population. Any mass programme should therefore be based on a clearer understanding of the subject for which further research should be conducted in representative groups of population in different developing countries so that financial commitments yield desired result.

An interesting report was from the International Eye Bank. The Maryland state of U.S.A. has recently passed a law that eyes can be removed at all autopsies without necessarily taking the consent from the next of the kith and kin of the deceased. This factor alone has increased the availability of donor eyes from 400 per year two years back to 4000 last year. If such law could be enacted in other states of United States and other countries where donor eyes are needed the most it will go a long way not only in providing adequate number of donor eyes but will also encourage more and more eye surgeons taking to corneal surgery thus substantially relieving the heavy incidence of corneal blindness in developing countries.

Dr. Sinha from Patna and Dr. Kapoor from Bombay also attended the Congress. Dr. P.K. Basu, Research Professor from Canada and Dr. Rashmi an Indian Ophthalmologist settled in Pitsburg presented very impressive papers making very useful contribution to the proceedings of the Congress.

The II World Corneal Congress was on the whole a successful meeting. The proceedings of the Congress to be published in a book form as was done for the First Congress will be available in due course of time to the ophthalmologists and the libraries.


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