Correlation Between Postoperative Central Corneal Thickness and Endothelial Damage After Cataract Surgery by Phacoemulsification
To study the correlation between postoperative corneal edema and endothelial cell loss after cataract surgery by microcoaxial phacoemulsification.Methods:
Eighty-five eyes of 85 consecutive patients with mild cataract (up to C5, N4, and P5: per LOCS III classification) were included in a prospective study from September 2014 to November 2014. Eighty-five eyes were necessary to obtain a precision of 0.15 for computation of the Pearson correlation coefficient. Pachymetry and endothelial cell density measurements were taken preoperatively, 2 hours after surgery, and 4 days, 15 days, and 1 month after surgery using CEM-530 noncontact specular microscopy (Nidek CO Ltd, Japan). Every surgery was performed using the Stellaris device (Bausch & Lomb, Bridgewater, NJ) in a microcoaxial mode with 2.2-mm incisions.Results:
Mean age was 73 ± 2.1 years, with 41 women (48%) and 44 men (52%). The mean surgical time was 8 ± 5.5 minutes, and the mean effective phacoemulsification time was 7 ± 3.7 seconds. Mean central corneal thickness augmentation was 46.68 ± 10 μm (8.39%) 2 hours after surgery, 10 ± 18 μm (1.8%) 4 days after surgery, and only 0.76 ± 11.4 μm (0.1%) 15 days after surgery. Mean endothelial cell loss was 3.0 ± 1.5% at 2 hours, 9.0 ± 3.3% at D4, 10 ± 4.6% at D15, and 11 ± 4.7% at 1 month. At D4, significant endothelial loss (>15%) was mostly related to significant immediate corneal edema (>15%), whereas low postoperative edema (<5%) did not lead to significant endothelial loss (loss <5%). At D15 and D30, endothelial cell loss seemed to be closely correlated with immediate postoperative edema (Pearson correlation coefficient between central corneal edema at H2 and endothelial cells loss at 1 month: r = 0.4, P < 0.0001).Conclusions:
Postoperative corneal thickness measurement may therefore become a marker of endothelial damage after phacoemulsification.