Outcomes of phacoemulsification on the corneal endothelium in diabetic versus non-diabetic patients: A prospective non-randomized controlled interventional study
Medical hypothesis, discovery & innovation in optometry,
Vol. 2 No. 1 (2021),
16 June 2021
Background: Cataract surgery in patients with diabetes is indicated either to improve visual acuity or to allow assessment and treatment of fundus changes. We aimed to document the effects of phacoemulsification on the corneal endothelium in patients with or without diabetes.
Methods: This comparative, prospective, non-randomized controlled interventional study was conducted in patients with visually significant immature senile cataracts in the ophthalmology department at Sohag University Hospital between January 2018 and December 2020. The following data were recorded: corrected distance visual acuity, keratometry readings, refraction, slit lamp examination results, and biometry data. Changes in corneal parameters were documented preoperatively and at 1, 3, and 6 months postoperatively using specular microscopy.
Results: Sixty-four eyes of 64 patients with visually significant senile cataracts were included (32 eyes in the diabetic group and 32 eyes in the non-diabetic control group). We found greater mean endothelial cell loss in the non-diabetic group (179 cells/mm2; 6.4%) than in the diabetic group (134 cells/mm2; 4.8%) at 3 months postoperatively, yet the difference was not significant. The difference could be explained by the higher mean cumulative dissipated energy (CDE) used in the non-diabetic group (5.37 J) than in the diabetic group (4.68 J), although the difference was also not significant. Moreover, we found significantly higher coefficient of variation (CV) in the non-diabetic group than in the diabetic group at 1, 3, and 6 months postoperatively (P = 0.03, P = 0.02, and P = 0.008, respectively).
Conclusions: Endothelial cell density was directly related to the CDE of phacoemulsification and not to diabetes. CV was significantly higher in the non-diabetic group than in the diabetic group. Future studies with a larger sample size, longer follow-up, and more diabetic subgroups with different levels of glycemic control are warranted to verify our conclusions.