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Biomechanical profile of the cornea in primary congenital glaucoma.

Acta Ophthalmologica 2013 Februrary
PURPOSE: The aim of our study was to investigate the biomechanical properties of the cornea in primary congenital glaucoma (PCG) and to identify the potential ocular determinants, which affect the corneal biomechanical metrics.

METHODS: Corneal hysteresis (CH), corneal resistance factor (CRF) and central corneal thickness (CCT) were measured in 26 patients with PCG (40 eyes) with the aid of ocular response analyser. In vivo laser-scanning confocal microscopy was used for the estimation of stromal keratocyte density (KD) and the evaluation of corneal endothelium. Twenty normal subjects (40 eyes) served as controls. Student's t-test and Pearson's correlation coefficients were used for statistical analysis. p Values <0.05 were considered statistically significant.

RESULTS: Corneal hysteresis, CRF and CCT were significantly reduced in patients with PCG (all p < 0.05). Corneal hysteresis and CRF negatively correlated with the corneal diameter in both groups (r(1) = -0.53, r(2) = -0.66, p < 0.001 for CH and r(1) = -0.61, r(2) = -0.69, p < 0.001 for CRF). Moreover, we identified a significant correlation between CH and CRF with CCT in both groups (r(1) = 0.51, r(2) = 0.48, p < 0.001 for CH and r(1)  = 0.45, r(2) = 0.44, p < 0.001 for CRF). Mean KD was significantly reduced both in the anterior and posterior corneal stroma in patients with PCG (764 ± 162 and 362 ± 112 cells/mm(2) , respectively) compared with controls (979 ± 208 and 581 ± 131 cells/mm(2) , respectively) (p < 0.001). There was no significant correlation between the keratocyte density in anterior and/or posterior stroma and CH or CRF in any group (r(1) = 0.29, r(2) = 0.31, p < 0.06). Mean endothelial cell density was also significantly reduced in PCG group (2920 ± 443 cells/mm(2) ) compared with control group (3421 ± 360 cells/mm(2) ) (p < 0.001). Pleomorphism and polymegalism were significantly increased in corneal endothelium of patients with PCG.

CONCLUSIONS:   Our results showed a significant reduction in CH and CRF in PCG. Both CH and CRF were negatively correlated with corneal diameter. A significant correlation of CH and CRF with CCT was identified in both groups. Keratocyte density was decreased in PCG, but did not have a significant impact on CH and CRF. Mean endothelial density was also decreased in PCG. Our results suggest that reduced CCT and increased corneal diameter are major ocular determinants for the modified corneal biomechanical profile in PCG, while cellular alterations in corneal stroma and endothelium have no significant biomechanical impact.

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