Vladimir P. Filatov, MD

  • Presented: 
    2014
  • Recognition: 
    ASCRS Ophthalmology Hall of Fame

1875-1956

“Dr. Vladimir Filatov was one of the true pioneers in corneal transplantation. He was the first to utilized preserved cadaveric donors which paved the way to modern keratoplasty. As an innovator in surgical technique, outstanding teacher and dedicated scientist, Dr. Filatov is certainly worthy of his induction to the ASCRS Hall of Fame.”

– Edward J. Holland, MD, Director of Cornea Services at Cincinnati Eye Institute and Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Cincinnati

Dr. Vladimir Filatov was a great contributor not only to the field of corneal transplantation and eye banking but also to plastic and reconstructive surgery as well as medical eye care delivery. He began studying keratoplasty in 1922 with his mentor, Arthur Elschnig of Prague, and over the next 23 years, performed over 800 corneal grafts. From his vast experience, he described many of the major technical challenges and complications associated with corneal transplantation. In the course of his clinically innovative practice, he designed a number of instruments and innovations that greatly contributed to the progress of keratoplasty. He was notably the first to popularize the use of cadaveric preserved corneal tissue for transplantation, and in May of 1931 was the first to perform full-thickness corneal transplants using cadaveric tissue successfully.

Dr. Filatov was a prolific investigator beyond the domain of corneal transplantation and undertook significant research in other areas of ophthalmology. He wrote papers on pediatric trauma, was the first to use the Gonin method of retinal reattachment repair in the Soviet Union, did research in keratoconjunctivitis sicca, and developed a systematic theory of “biogenic stimulators” (tissue therapy) for inflammatory and degenerative conditions.

Dr. Filatov was the founding editor of Oftalmologicheskii Zhurnal in 1946, which he edited until his death in 1956. He established the Ukrainian Experimental Institute for Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy, later renamed the Filatov Institute. The institution provided a large volume of clinical care, housed a major ophthalmic library, was the seat of significant ophthalmic research programs, and is credited as a forerunner of institutions such as the National Eye Institute.

Dr. Filatov was a great pioneer in refinement of the art and science of corneal transplantation, performing over 3500 corneal transplants before his death in 1956.