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E.J. Winter, D.C. Herman, D.O. Hodge, W.M. Bourne; Endothelial Cell Density in the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study (OHTS): Single-center Results . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):4721.
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Purpose: To measure the effects of topical ocular antihypertensives on endothelial cell density and morphology in patients with ocular hypertension. Methods: We recorded central endothelial images by contact specular microscopy in both eyes of 55 OHTS subjects every 12 months for 6 years. Both eyes of 28 subjects were treated with topical ocular antihypertensives to meet intraocular pressure goals as determined by study protocol, and 27 subjects were not treated. Endothelial cell density (ECD), coefficient of variation of cell area (CV), and percentage of hexagonal cells (HEX) were determined in a masked fashion by digitizing the apices of 100 cells for each examination. Results: For baseline ECD, the treated and untreated groups did not differ (2464±280 cells/mm2 vs 2517±283 cells/mm2, mean±SD, p=0.49, 2-tailed t-test for means), and these in turn did not differ from 55 age-matched normal subjects (2490±280 cells/mm2 vs 2534±306 cells/mm2, p=0.44). After 6 years, in 26 treated and 21 untreated subjects, no differences were found between groups in ECD (2331±239 cells/mm2 vs 2420±298 cells/mm2, p=0.26), CV (0.30±0.06 vs 0.32±0.07, p=0.19, rank-sum test), or HEX (65±10% vs 63±11%, p=0.53). The mean intraocular pressure in these subjects was 18.0±2.1 mmHg treated and 23.9±3.3 mmHg untreated (p<0.001, t-test for means). Four subjects in the untreated group were treated because they progressed to glaucoma or developed severely elevated intraocular pressures, and therefore were omitted from this comparison. Four additional subjects (2 treated and 2 untreated) did not consent to endothelial photographs at 6 years. From data of all examinations, ECD decreased 0.54%/yr. treated and 0.55%/yr. untreated (p=0.98 ). Conclusions: In ocular hypertensive eyes, chronic reduction of intraocular pressure by topical therapy does not affect corneal endothelial cell density or morphology.
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