Objective assessment of the corneal endothelium in Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy

Jay W. McLaren, Lori A. Bachman, Katrina M. Kane, Sanjay V. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Purpose. To develop a standardized method of endothelial cell density (ECD) assessment in Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy that maximizes the sample area and uses the clearest endothelial cells in confocal images. Methods. The corneal endothelium of 51 eyes from 30 patients, with varying degrees of Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy, was examined using confocal microscopy. In two or three distinct images of the central endothelium, local contiguous cell density was determined using a variable frame method. The effective ECD was the product of the local cell density and the fraction of the image that was free of guttae. Two examiners assessed the severity of disease in each eye during slit-lamp examination and assigned a severity grade of 1 to 6. In a second group of 55 eyes with Fuchs' dystrophy from 30 patients, the clinical grade was predicted from the effective ECD and the regression coefficients of the first group and compared to the subjective clinical grade assigned by one examiner. Results. The effective ECD decreased linearly with subjective grade (r = 0.93, P < 0.001). The grade predicted from the effective ECD differed from the subjective clinical grade by -0.1 ± 0.8 (mean difference ± standard deviation). Conclusions. The effective ECD in confocal images provides an objective means of assessing the corneal endothelium in Fuchs' dystrophy and might be a useful tool in clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1184-1190
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 7 2014


  • Corneal endothelium
  • Endothelial cell density
  • Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy
  • Guttae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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