The purpose of this article was to study the clinical, optical, and morphological correlates of visual function in patients with Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD).
The case records were analyzed for patients diagnosed with FECD between September 2019 and March 2020. The best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was recorded as decimal visual acuity and converted to the logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution units. Contrast sensitivity was measured with the Pelli–Robson contrast sensitivity test. Corneal alterations, including central corneal thickness, depression of the posterior cornea, and corneal densitometry values, were evaluated using Scheimpflug images. Corneal epithelial thickness was measured by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography.
A total of 107 eyes of 61 patients (18 male and 43 female) with FECD were retrospectively investigated. The Spearman rank correlation coefficient showed moderate correlation between BCVA and contrast sensitivity (ρ = −0.66, P < 0.001), with some patients maintaining relatively good BCVA but having reduced contrast sensitivity. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that age, central corneal thickness, depression of the posterior cornea, and epithelial thickening were negatively associated with contrast sensitivity but not with BCVA.
Contrast sensitivity is a useful tool for assessing visual dysfunction and should be incorporated into the assessment protocol of patients with FECD. Alterations in the cornea, including central corneal thickness, depression of the posterior cornea, and epithelial thickening, might be objective parameters that can help the clinician in grading the severity of the disease and tracking its progression.