Purpose: To describe the clinical significance of in vivo corneal findings in eyes with acute corneal hydrops.
Methods: Medical records and anterior segment optical coherence tomography (ASOCT) images of 24 patients with keratoconus and unilateral acute corneal hydrops were reviewed. Clinical findings and position, integrity, and orientation of the Descemet membrane (DM) on ASOCT were noted. Size of the DM break, depth of the DM detachment, and corneal thickness were measured by ASOCT and correlated with the duration of corneal edema, assessed clinically. Outcomes of intracameral perfluoropropane (C3F8) gas in 13 eyes and histopathological findings after penetrating keratoplasty in 2 eyes were also correlated with serial ASOCT findings.
Results: Duration of corneal edema was 9.3 ± 4.4 weeks. On ASOCT, DM showed 3 patterns: detachment with break and rolled ends (n = 13), detachment with break and flat ends (n = 10), and detachment with no break (n = 1). Initial corneal thickness was 1.3 ± 0.25 mm, size of the DM break was 1.1 ± 0.8 mm, and depth of the DM detachment was 0.9 ± 0.6 mm. On multiple regression analysis, duration of corneal edema showed significant positive association with the depth of DM detachment (P = 0.0002) and size of DM break (P = 0.002) and negative association with intracameral C3F8 (P < 0.0001). Correlation of ASOCT with histopathological findings revealed 2 stages of resolution of hydrops: reattachment of DM and endothelial migration.
Conclusions: Eyes with deeper DM detachments and larger DM breaks required more time for resolution of corneal edema despite intracameral C3F8. This association needs to be validated by a prospective study.