ECCTR enters second phase

ECCTR registry will collect and collate data on availability of corneal tissue, methods of transplantation and visual outcomes

Colin Kerr

Posted: Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Dr Mats Lundström

One of the highlights of the 8th EuCornea Congress was an instructional course that explained how and why cornea specialists should get involved with the European Cornea and Cell Transplantation Registry (ECCTR), a registry system for corneal surgeons co-funded by the ESCRS.

“This course provided a thorough introduction to the ECCTR system and included discussion of the project’s legal and ethical aspects, as well as detailed instructions on how to report and take out data, and how to use your own data in order to improve your practice,” said Dr Mats Lundström, Sweden, who together with Mor Dickman MD, the Netherlands, presented the course.

The ECCTR registry will collect and collate data on availability of corneal tissue, methods of transplantation, and visual outcomes, said Dr Lundström. He and the registry team have so far harmonised three existing national European corneal registries, in the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK, and will soon be recruiting individual surgeons and centres of excellence to participate in the project.

“We are hoping that this registry will be a valuable tool for benchmarking and comparison. We know that when it comes to a specific type of surgery the best way to perform surgery isn’t always found within your own region or even within your own country. It’s definitely an advantage to have a broader international field of data for comparison,” Dr Lundström said.

The ECCTR had its official launch at the XXXIV ESCRS Congress in Copenhagen. The project is a three-year programme, with the now completed development of an EU web registry in the first year, followed by recruitment of clinics and eye banks and the collection of data starting in the second year. At the 9th EUCORNEA Congress in 2018, the ECCTR’s leading investigators will present their data and will also use the data for creating European guidelines for corneal transplant surgery.

The instructional course in Lisbon represents the initiation of the second, recruitment stage of the project, said Dr Lundström.

“We have actually built the software and it has been tested by representatives for the three involved national registers and for the steering group. After a number of updates, we are now in the phase that a few clinics will test how it works as a sort of a beta version in a test database.”

The project is co-funded by the ESCRS and by the EU under the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA).