Corneal Transplantation for Infectious Keratitis: A Prospective Dutch Registry Study

Netherlands Cornea Transplant Network (NCTN)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: The aim of this study was to analyze real-world practice patterns and graft survival after corneal transplantation for infectious keratitis in the Netherlands. Methods: All consecutive keratoplasties for infectious keratitis registered in the Netherlands Organ Transplant Registry were included. Graft survival was analyzed using Kaplan–Meier survival curves with Cox regression to compare the 3 most common pathogens with subgroup analysis for type and reason of transplantation, sex, and graft size. Multivariable analysis was performed using the same explanatory factors. Results: Between 2007 and 2017, 1111 keratoplasties for infectious keratitis were registered in the Netherlands Organ Transplant Registry. The most common pathogens were viruses (n = 437), bacteria (n = 271), and Acanthamoeba (n = 121). Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matching did not provide a significant survival benefit, whereas emergency procedures showed worse graft survival [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.40, P = 0.120; HR = 2.73, P < 0.001, respectively]. Graft size >8.5 mm was significantly worse than graft size 8.5 mm (HR = 2.062, P = 0.010). In therapeutic keratoplasty, graft survival was significantly worse for Acanthamoeba than viral keratitis (HR = 2.36, P = 0.008). In the multivariable model, adjusting for graft size, type, and reason for transplantation, viral and bacterial keratitis did not differ significantly in graft survival, and Acanthamoeba showed a significantly worse prognosis (vs. viral keratitis, HR = 2.30, P < 0.001; bacterial keratitis, HR = 2.65, P < 0.001). Conclusions: Viral keratitis was the most common indication for transplantation, followed by bacterial and Acanthamoeba keratitis. HLA matching did not offer protection over elective non-HLA–matched procedures, whereas emergency procedures and grafts sized >8.5 mm showed poor survival. In optical keratoplasty, survival is high for all pathogens, whereas in therapeutic keratoplasty Acanthamoeba shows poor outcome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1414-1421
Number of pages8
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023


  • corneal transplantation
  • graft survival
  • infectious keratitis

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