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K H Carlson, W M Bourne, R F Brubaker; Effect of long-term contact lens wear on corneal endothelial cell morphology and function.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1988;29(2):185-193.
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Anterior segment fluorophotometry (topical) and central endothelial cell photography were performed on 40 long-term (2-23 years) contact lens wearers (four groups of ten each: hard, soft, gas permeable, and gas permeable plus prior lens usage) and 40 non-contact lens wearers of similar ages. Morphologically, the endothelial cells of contact lens wearers showed greater variability in size and shape compared to controls. The mean endothelial cell size in contact lens wearers (307 +/- 35 micron2) was smaller than that of controls (329 +/- 38 micron2, P less than 0.01). There was an increase in the coefficient of variation of cell size of the contact lens group (0.35 +/- 0.06 versus 0.25 +/- 0.04 for controls, P less than 0.0001). The endothelial cell mosaic contained a smaller percentage of hexagonal cells in contact lens wearers (66 +/- 8) compared to controls (71 +/- 7, P less than 0.01). There was a compensatory increase in five-sided cells. Functionally, there was no difference in corneal clarity, central corneal thickness or endothelial permeability to fluorescein (3.78 +/- 0.57 X 10(-4) cm/min versus 3.85 +/- 0.55 X 10(-4) cm/min for controls) between the two groups. Aqueous humor flow was increased 7% in contact lens wearers. We found no correlation between oxygen transmissibility, estimated underlying oxygen tension, or duration of wear of the contact lenses and any morphologic or functional variable. We also found no differences between the four groups of contact lens wearers except that the gas permeable lens wearers had more hexagonal and less pentagonal cells. Long-term contact lens wear induces morphologic changes in the corneal endothelium.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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