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W M Bourne, D O Hodge, J W McLaren; Estimation of corneal endothelial pump function in long-term contact lens wearers.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(3):603-611.
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PURPOSE: To study the effects of long-term contact lens wear on morphologic and physiologic properties of corneal endothelial cells. METHODS: The endothelial permeability to fluorescein and the rate of corneal deswelling from hypoxia-induced edema were measured in 20 long-term (mean, 17+/-9 years; range, 5-33 years) contact lens wearers and 20 age-matched control subjects. From these data, the relative endothelial pump rate in each subject was estimated, based on the pump-leak hypothesis of corneal hydration control. Corneal autofluorescence and the aqueous humor flow rate were determined by fluorescein fluorophotometry. Images of corneal endothelial cells were recorded by using specular microscopy, and morphologic indices (cell density, coefficient of variation of cell area, percentage of hexagonal cells, and skewness) were determined. RESULTS: No statistically significant differences were found between the contact lens and control groups in endothelial permeability, corneal deswelling, relative endothelial pump rate ([mean +/- SD] 1.07+/-0.33 relative pump units versus 1.01+/-0.25 relative pump units; contact lens versus control; P = 0.57), and endothelial cell density. Contact lens wearers had a significantly higher aqueous humor flow rate (3.57+/-1.03 microl/min versus 2.77+/-0.51 microl/min; P = 0.005), coefficient of variation of cell area (0.35+/-0.09 versus 0.28+/-0.04; P = 0.006), and corneal autofluorescence (3.1+/-0.6 ng/ml versus 2.3+/-0.3 ng/ml fluorescein equivalents; P < 0.001) than did non-contact lens wearers. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the known effects of long-term contact lens wear on corneal endothelial morphometry, no effect on endothelial function was found.
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