The UCLA Global Health Seed Grant will fund a prospective clinical trial with the aim to assess the success rate of VisionGraft in averting the need for evisceration in patients who are at risk of or have developed infectious corneal perforation at HCMCEH. Thirty patients at HCMCEH will be enrolled in the study and transplantation for the VisionGraft will be performed by two surgeons at HCMCEH, Dr. Diep Huu Thang, Consultant Ophthalmologist and Chief of the Department of Cornea and Dr. Duong Nguyen Viet Huong, Staff Ophthalmologist in the Department of Cornea. Results will be compared with a historical control group from HCMCEH prior to the introduction of VisionGraft.
Dr. Anthony Aldave and collaborators at the Ho Chi Minh City Eye Hospital (HCMCEH) have been awarded a $50,000 UCLA Global Health Seed Grant to fund a prospective clinical trial evaluating the usage of sterile preserved cornea tissue in treating infectious corneal perforation in Vietnam. One of the commonest conditions at HCMCEH is infectious corneal ulceration, accounting for 20,000 patient visits per year and with 21% of patients developing corneal perforation. In the US, fresh donor cornea is used to patch the perforation to keep the eye intact. However, donor corneal tissue is scarce in Vietnam, thus almost one-fifth of corneal perforations result in eye removal (evisceration). VisionGraft (CorneaGen, Seattle, Washington) is a sterile preserved gamma-irradiated cornea tissue that can be stored at room temperature for up to two years. It has been extensively used in ophthalmology, and its long shelf-time makes it an ideal solution for use in urgent corneal transplantation in cases of infectious corneal perforation.