Anterior keratocyte depletion in fuchs endothelial dystrophy

Laura A. Hecker, Jay W. McLaren, Lori A. Bachman, Sanjay V. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine if keratocyte populations are different in corneas with Fuchs dystrophy compared with control corneas. Methods: Eleven corneas excised during penetrating keratoplasty for Fuchs dystrophy and 5 control corneas of eyes enucleated for choroidal melanoma were examined using light microscopy. Twenty control corneas age-matched to the corneas with Fuchs dystrophy were examined using confocal microscopy in vivo. The number of keratocytes in a full-thickness column of central stroma with frontal area of 1 mm2, determined using histologic and confocal methods, was compared between corneas with Fuchs dystrophy and controls. Results: By histology, the mean (SD) number of cells in a full-thickness column of stroma in Fuchs dystrophy (12 215[1394] cells) was less than in control corneas (15 628[710] cells; P < .001). The mean (SD) number of keratocytes in the anterior 10% of the stroma of corneas with Fuchs dystrophy (682[274] cells) was less than in the control corneas measured using histology (1858[404] cells; P < .001) and confocal microscopy (1481[397] cells; P < .001). Conclusions: Keratocytes are depleted by 54% to 63% in the anterior 10% of the stroma of corneas that require penetrating keratoplasty for Fuchs dystrophy. Keratocyte loss might contribute to anterior stromal changes that persist and degrade vision after endothelial keratoplasty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-561
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of ophthalmology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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