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Decreased subbasal nerve density in patients with exfoliation syndrome undergoing cataract surgery

Poster Details

First Author: M.MOCAN TURKEY

Co Author(s):    S. Kocabeyoglu   M. Irkec                 

Abstract Details


To evaluate the corneal microstructure in patients with exfoliation syndrome (XFS) with cataract using in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) and to compare their results with those of healthy subjects.


Hacettepe University, School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, Ankara, Turkey


Twenty-five eyes of 25 patients with XFS and cataract and 25 corneas of age-matched control subjects were included in this study. Patients with a history of previous ocular surgery, ocular surface disease and diabetes mellitus were excluded. Basal epithelial cell, keratocytes and endothelial cell densities as well as the number of sub-basal nerves were evaluated using IVCM (Confoscan 3.0, Vigonza, Italy). T-test and chi-square test was used for statistical analysis. A p value of 0.05 was accepted as statistically significant.


There were no significant differences between the patients and control subjects with respect to age (69.7±4.4 y vs. 69.1±4.5 y; p=0.137) and gender (11M/14F; 12M/13F; p=0.522). The differences in the densities of the basal epithelium (p=0.343), keratocytes of anterior (p=0.406), mid stroma (p=0.427), and endothelium (p=0.067) were not significant across the two groups, whereas posterior keratocyte density was found to be lower in patients with XFS and cataract (p=0.002). Subjects with XFS had lower number of long subbasal nerve fibers (p=0.03), lower total number of subbasal nerves (p<0.001) and more tortuous nerve fibers (p<0.001) as compared to those of controls.


Patients with XFS scheduled for phacoemulsification surgery demonstrate reduced number of subbasal nerve fibers which may predispose their corneas to delayed corneal epithelial wound healing following cataract surgery.

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