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Influence of corneal guttae and nuclear cataract on contrast sensitivity


AIMS To evaluate the contrast sensitivity in patients with nuclear cataract and corneal guttae compared to patients with nuclear cataract without guttae.

METHODS In this retrospective, single-centre case series, 50 eyes of 50 patients fulfilling the inclusion criteria were enrolled. Patients with corneal guttae and nuclear cataract (n=25, study group) underwent triple Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK). Patients with nuclear cataract and healthy corneas underwent cataract surgery (n=25, control group). Inclusion criteria were preoperative best-corrected visual acuity ≥20/40, no corneal oedema and similar lens opacity (nuclear opalescence 2.0–2.9). Outcome measures included MARS letter and OPTEC 6500P contrast sensitivity test, corneal volume, central corneal thickness and anterior and posterior corneal densitometry.

RESULTS Preoperative MARS letter and OPTEC 6500P contrast sensitivity was significantly worse in the study group (MARS: p<0.001; OPTEC 6500P: p<0.007 at low spatial frequencies in daylight with and without glare and nightlight without glare). After surgery, there was no significant difference in MARS letter contrast sensitivity between groups (p=0.225). OPTEC 6500P contrast sensitivity remained significantly lower in the study group in daylight and nightlight with and without glare at most spatial frequencies (p<0.01) postoperatively. Preoperative and postoperative corneal volume, central corneal thickness and anterior corneal densitometry were equal in both groups (p>0.05). Posterior densitometry was significantly higher in the study group than in the control group preoperatively (p<0.001) but turned into equal values postoperatively (p=0.07).

CONCLUSIONS Corneal guttae cause an additional significant decrease in contrast sensitivity in eyes with nuclear cataract. This is in favour of performing a triple DMEK even in eyes with a visual acuity of ≥20/40.

  • Cornea

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