Corneal Epithelial Thickness Reduced in Patients with Glaucoma

A study published in the Journal of Glaucoma found that patients with glaucoma have uniformly reduced corneal epithelial thickness (CET).

Patients with glaucoma have reduced and irregular CET, which can affect the superior and inferior areas of the cornea. Researchers evaluated CET parameters by means of anterior segment optical coherence tomography (OCT) in patients with glaucoma undergoing medical treatment and compared outcomes with a control cohort.

The cross-sectional study included 62 patients with primary open-angle or pseudoexfoliative glaucoma (mean age, 68.0 years) and 62 age-matched controls (mean age, 65.5 years). The study used fourier-domain OCT with a corneal adaptor module. Pachymetry scan pattern was used to map the cornea, and software-generated corneal thickness parameters were recorded.

Among patients with glaucoma, the median number of instillations of medication was two (range, 1-6 instillations of medication). Central corneal thickness was 537.6 (standard deviation [SD], 33.3) in the glaucoma group versus 550.8 (SD, 33.7) in the control group (P=0.028). Central CET was 48.8 μm (SD, 3.7) in the glaucoma group and 53.5 μm (SD, 3.7) in the control group (P<0.001).

The average superior (45 μm [SD, 4] vs. 49.6 μm [SD, 3.3]; P<0.001) CET and inferior (49 μm [SD, 3.9] vs. 53.5 μm [SD, 3.7]; P<0.001) CET were similarly reduced in the glaucoma and control groups, respectively. No CET parameter was associated with any of the treatment parameters.