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First Author: J.Kang SOUTH KOREA
Co Author(s): K. Shin
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To analyze the effects of soft contact lenses on central corneal thickness and morphologic characteristics of the corneal endothelium in diabetic patients.
Konkuk University Medical Center, Republic of Korea, Department of Ophthalmology
This study included 113 patients who visited the Department of Ophthalmology, Konkuk University Medical Center from August 2006 to August 2007. Ultrasound pachymetry and noncontact specular microscopy were performed on right eyes of 26 diabetic patients who regularly wear soft contact lenses (group 1), 27 diabetic patients who do not wear soft contact lenses (group 2), 30 soft contact lens wearers without diabetes mellitus (group 3), and 30 normal subjects who do not wear soft contact lenses (group 4). We compared the central corneal thickness, corneal endothelial cell density, coefficient of variation in endothelial cell, percentage of hexagonal endothelial cell in each group using the Mann-Whitney test.
Average durations of diabetes in group 1 and 2 were 4.38 ±1.50 and 4.41 ±1.45 years, and average durations of soft contact lens wearing in group 1 and 3 were 5.27 ±1.76 and 2.88 ±2.15 years. The central cornea was significantly thicker and the endothelial cell density was significantly lower in group 1, than in group 3 and group 4. But there was no statistically significant difference between group 1 and 2 (central cornea thickness; group 1: 566.35ḟ35.99, group 2: 553.59ḟ45.80, group 3: 538.40ḟ33.59, group 4: 534.13ḟ26.31, endothelial cell density; group 1: 2904.81ḟ236.42, group 2: 2967.15ḟ540.15, group 3: 3198.67ḟ389.64, group 4: 3385.14ḟ275.92). The coefficient of variation of cell size was higher in group 1, than in group 2 and group 4, and higher in group 3 than in group 4. The coefficient of variation of cell size was significantly higher and the percentage of hexagonal cells was significantly lower in group 1 than in group 4 (coefficient of variation; group 1: 0.37ḟ0.04, group 2: 0.33ḟ0.04, group 3: 0.36ḟ0.04, group 4: 0.32ḟ0.05, percentage of hexagonality; group 1: 58.88ḟ5.28, group 2: 63.89ḟ8.61, group 3: 61.03ḟ4.55, group 4: 66.07ḟ9.93).
Central corneal thickness and endothelial cell density are more affected by diabetes mellitus than contact lens wearing, and corneal endothelial cell morphology is more influenced by contact lens wearing than diabetes mellitus. In addition, contact lens wearing in diabetic patients showed significant influences on all characteristics of corneal endothelium compared with normal subjects. Therefore, patients with diabetes mellitus should be warned to avoid wearing contact lens.