Special Correspondent

AMC alumni donate `specular microscope' to eye bank

  • `Success rate of corneal plant certain to go up'
  • Instrument available only at about 15 places in the country

    VISAKHAPATNAM: Non-Resident Indian doctors who are members of Andhra Medical College alumni in North America have donated a specular microscope to Mohsin Eye Bank in the city.

    The Rs.12-lakh microscope which helps study the structural integrity of the deeper layer of the cornea called the endothelium to maintain transparency of the human cornea.

    It is very essential to upgrade an eye bank to international standards and this facility is available only in Hyderabad besides Visakhapatnam, the chairman of Visakhaptnam Eye Bank and Research Training Trust (VEBART) that manages Mohsin Eye Bank, R. Ahikrishna told media persons here on Friday.

    Excusive instrument

    "It also comes as a surprise that it is available only at about 15 places in the entire country," he said. Rednam Venkata Krishna Rao in the US coordinated the fund raising, he revealed.

    Cornea consists of five layers and the corneal endothelium contains a certain number of closely packed cells. With the help of specular microscope, the size, shape and number of the endothelium could be analysed and documented. These details are necessary to access the quality and grade of the corneal tissue.

    "Good quality corneal tissues are used for vision restoration by corneal transplantation. Lesser grade ones are used for therapeutic purpose, to prevent infection of the eye and other problems.

    The lower grade tissues are used for training and research purpose," Dr. Ahikrishna said.

    Transplantation

    He said that the eye bank collects, preserves and processes the corneal tissue. After receiving the corneal tissue through eye donation, the tissues are physically examined and graded with the help of specular microscope.

    The tissues would be screened for any transmittable disease like hepatitis and HIV in a laboratory and only suitable tissues are supplied for corneal transplantation, he stated.

    Secretary of the Trust A.V.N. Chetty said the success rate of corneal plant depended on health and quality process and it would certainly go up with the new microscope.

    Treasurer of the Trust C.V. Gopal Raju gave a demonstration of specular microscope at the eye bank and said quality evaluation through it would help restore vision better. Vice-Chairman of the Trust I. Venkata Rao, and other members Kasim S. Mehdi, Hamza K. Mehdi, M. Ravindra Babu and others were present.