Chapter 18. Influence of Histocompatibility on the Fate of the Corneal Transplant

  1. Ruth Porter and
  2. Julie Knight
  1. Niels Ehlers and
  2. F. Kissmeyer-Nielsen

Published Online: 30 MAY 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470719985.ch18

Ciba Foundation Symposium 15 - Corneal Graft Failure

Ciba Foundation Symposium 15 - Corneal Graft Failure

How to Cite

Ehlers, N. and Kissmeyer-Nielsen, F. (1973) Influence of Histocompatibility on the Fate of the Corneal Transplant, in Ciba Foundation Symposium 15 - Corneal Graft Failure (eds R. Porter and J. Knight), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470719985.ch18

Author Information

  1. Department of Ophthalmology und the Blond Bank arid Tissue Typing Laboratory, Århus Kommunehospital, University of Århus

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 MAY 2008
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1973

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9789021940168

Online ISBN: 9780470719985



  • corneal transplan;
  • histocompatibility;
  • antigens;
  • antilymphocyte serum;
  • blood irradiation


The major transplantation antigenic systems, in man the ABO blood group system and the HL-A system, determine the degree of histocompatibility between donor and recipient. The concept of histocompatibility is briefly surveyed and its application to corneal grafting is discussed. ABO as well as HL-A antigens are present in the cornea. Experiments in rabbits have shown that immune reactions may be avoided by grafting between compatible donors and recipients. A series of consecutive, and as regards compatibility, randomly selected, penetrating corneal transplantations in man is presented. Among ABO-compatible transplantations significantly more clear grafts occurred among the more HL-A compatible than among the less HL-A compatible. For corneal grafting C and D matches (one or two donor antigens not present in recipient) are good. E matches (three donor antigens not matched) are acceptable whereas the G and F matches (no shared antigens; presence of circulating anti-donor antibodies in recipient) are unacceptable.

Although fairly satisfactory results can be obtained without considering histocompatibility it is suggested that still more clear grafts can be obtained by selecting compatible donors and recipients. Future attempts will be directed towards establishing a bank of cryopreserved, tissue-typed corneas.