Examination of the effects of COVID 19 on corneal endothelium
This article was originally published here
Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2021 Jun 7. doi: 10.1007/s00417-021-05259-0. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: To demonstrate the effects of the disease on the corneal endothelium in individuals recovering from COVID-19 through specular microscopy.
METHODS: Eighty individuals recovering from COVID-19 (group 1) and 72 healthy controls (group 2) were included in this prospective study. After examining visual acuity, refractive defect detection, anterior and posterior segment examinations, and specular microscopy measurements were calculated from images with at least 100 cells. The mean cell density (CD), mean coefficient of variation (CV), mean hexagonal cell percentage, mean cell area (AVG), and central corneal thickness (CCT) were evaluated.
RESULTS: The mean time from diagnosis of the disease in group 1 was 54.25 ± 6.36 days. The mean time elapsed since the PCR test became negative was 38.45 ± 6.87 days. Only four were treated in the hospital. Specular microscopy data showed that the CD was 2713.56 ± 246.25 and 2845.80 ± 299.27 in groups 1 and 2, respectively (p = 0.003). The CV values were 42.92 ± 6.79 and 40.16 ± 5.97, respectively (p = 0.009). The hexagonality were 46.51 ± 7.35 and 49.12 ± 6.87, respectively (p = 0.024). The AVG was 371.60 ± 34.64 and 353.16 ± 35.29, respectively (p = 0.007). The CCT values were 553.00 ± 73.2, and 526.84 ± 33.57, respectively (p = 0.005).
CONCLUSION: A decrease in the number of endothelial cells and hexagonal cells (polymorphism) as well as an increase in the cell area change coefficient (polymegatism) and the average cell area were observed from corneal specular microscopic examination of individuals recovering from COVID-19 in the early period of the disease. These results may be important in understanding the systemic effects of the disease.