Preoperative and postoperative endothelial cell morphology was examined in three types of patients participating in a randomised, controlled trial of cataract surgery. The first sustained modest endothelial cell loss and served as controls, the second and third sustained high cell loss, but only the latter progressed to bullous keratopathy. The technique of examining endothelial cell morphology is described and its validity assessed. Measures of cell area, number of sides, side length, and variation in cell size and cell shape were utilised. No significant differences were found between the three groups by any of the preoperative morphological measures. Furthermore, postoperative values of variation in cell shape and cell size did not differ significantly between the groups. No evidence was found in our patients to support the hypothesis that eyes at particular risk of developing bullous keratopathy may be differentiated on the basis of their preoperative or early postoperative endothelial cell morphology.
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