• Seventy-six patients who had undergone unilateral phacoemulsification of cataracts had their endothelial cell density (ECD) measured by specular microscopy. When compared with the unoperated contralateral eye, there was a mean decrease in ECD of 33.8%. Ten patients who had undergone unilateral intracapsular cataract extraction had a mean decrease in ECD of 14.9%. Cataract extraction by phacoemulsification appears to be more traumatic to the corneal endothelium than is intracapsular extraction.
Sugar J, Mitchelson J, Kraff M. The Effect of Phacoemulsification on Corneal Endothelial Cell Density. Arch Ophthalmol. 1978;96(3):446-448. doi:10.1001/archopht.1978.03910050222005