A 2016 study found that male-to-female corneal transplants fail more often than matched gender or female-to-male transplants. The study, published online in the July 14 American Journal of Transplantation, discovered that 220 out of 1,000 male-to-female corneal transplants failed, compared to 180 out of 1,000 failures for all other recipient-donor combinations.
– Stephen Kayke, M.D.
Study leader Stephen Kaye, M.D., an ophthalmologist at The Royal Liverpool University Hospital in England, thinks the higher failure rate of male-to-female transplants is most likely caused by the Y chromosome.
If further research confirms the findings, male cornea donations might only be allocated to other men in the future, while donations from females would continue to be given to people of both sexes. “This would be relatively straightforward to put into place, without delay in donor tissue allocation or any significant added cost,” Kaye said. “The long-term impact this could have on patient care may be substantial.”
Kaye’s study involved 18,171 corneal transplant patients. Over 80% still had a working cornea 5 years after receiving a new one.