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Allen Eghrari, John Gottsch; Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy in African Americans. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):3586.
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Since its description in Austria one century ago, Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy (FCD) has often been thought of a disease primarily found among individuals of European origin. Studies of FCD in African-Americans are lacking; we therefore sought to characterize the clinical features and severity of FCD in African-Americans.
All individuals with Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy undergoing cataract surgery by two surgeons at a single institution from 2010-2013 were studied retrospectively and records reviewed for biometric data. Exclusion criteria included history of intraocular surgery, trauma, or inflammation.
A total of 76 patients with FCD underwent cataract surgery by one surgeon from 2010-2013, of which 62 were Caucasian and 5 African-American. When compared with 76 unaffected control patients who underwent cataract surgery by the same surgeon in the same time period, no significant association was found between race and affectation between Caucasian and African-American individuals (67 Caucasian, 5 African-American, p=0.58 by Fisher exact test). To confirm these findings, we examined a cohort of 88 FCD patients from a second surgeon and obtained similar results with no significant assocation (p=0.07). We then examined age, severity, and central corneal thickness in 186 Caucasian and 18 African-American eyes with FCD in these cohorts, the combination of the two surgeons. Despite similar age (71.2 African-American, 70.6 Caucasian, p=0.78) and severity by Krachmer grading (2.61 African-American, 2.80 Caucasian, p=0.25), there was a significant difference noted in central corneal thickness between both groups (581 microns in African-Americans, 613 microns in Caucasians, p<0.01).
African-Americans with FCD demonstrate decreased corneal thickness relative to affected Caucasians. Further study is necessary to explore if corneal edema develops at different rates in the two population groups, or if this is solely secondary to baseline differences in corneal thickness attributed to race.
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