• The corneal endothelium in 12 cases of keratoconus was examined with the clinical specular microscope. There appeared to be an increase in cellular pleomorphism with many cells considerably smaller than normal distributed throughout the endothelial cell population. There were also many large, elongated cells whose long axis showed a definite tendency to assume a similar directional orientation. The long axis of these cells seemed oriented toward the apex of the cone, and the cells appeared to have been stretched by the ectatic process. Many endothelial cells contained dark intracellular structures. Their significance is unknown. The single cornea in this series with a history of acute hydrops contained a localized area in which the endothelial cells were seven to ten times larger than normal. This suggests that rupture of the endothelium and Descemet's membrane, responsible for the acute edematous process, occurs at this site, and that the adjacent cells enlarged to fill the defect.
Laing RA, Sandstrom MM, Berrospi AR, Leibowitz HM. The Human Corneal Endothelium in KeratoconusA Specular Microscopic Study. Arch Ophthalmol. 1979;97(10):1867-1869. doi:10.1001/archopht.1979.01020020315005