Limitations of Keratoplasty in China: A Survey Analysis.


Hong J, Shi W, Liu Z, Pineda R, Cui X, Sun X, Xu J. Limitations of Keratoplasty in China: A Survey Analysis. PLoS One 2015;10(7):e0132268.

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PURPOSE: Each year, over 8,000 corneal transplantation surgeries are performed in China. Unlike developed countries, which have established standard requirements for operative experience for corneal specialists, little information exists on surgical training for keratoplasty in China. The aim of this study was to assess the keratoplasty experience of Chinese corneal specialists and to characterize their surgical patterns. METHODS: One hundred and twenty-one corneal specialists in 16 provinces (65 cities) in China were invited to complete an anonymous survey at the 2014 Chinese Corneal Society annual meeting, which consisted of questions with single or multiple-choice answers. Demographics, the number and type of keratoplasties performed, and the perceived limiting factors for performing keratoplasties were analyzed. RESULTS: An overwhelming 89% response rate was achieved. Of the 108 respondents, 76% worked in tertiary centers, and only 23% held a medical doctorate degree. Furthermore, 69% of the participants had received corneal fellowship training of less than one year. Only 71% were capable of keratoplasties. Among those doing keratoplasty, 68% performed less than 50 keratoplasties each year. Of the same group of keratoplasty surgeons, 88% of corneal specialists capable of keratoplasties had performed penetrating keratoplasties, 87% had performed lamellar keratoplasties, 12% had performed deep anterior lamellar keratoplasties, and 5% had performed Descemet's stripping endothelial keratoplasties. When questioned on the reasons for the low number of keratoplasties performed in China, the respondents deemed the following factors most important: lack of surgical training (71%), a shortage of donor supply (52%), and a lack of curricula (42%). A multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that corneal transplantation capabilities are significantly associated with responders' education levels and training time. CONCLUSION: Keratoplasty surgery experience is suboptimal for Chinese corneal specialists. Penetrating and lamellar keratoplasties are the preferred surgical patterns. Our findings raise concerns about the adequacy of keratoplasty training in China.

See also: Cornea, July 2015, All, 2015
Last updated on 11/20/2018