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To the Editor.
—There has been an unfortunate tendency to use the term "corneal dystrophy" to describe a cornea that has become edematous following anterior segment surgery. By definition, corneal dystrophy is a hereditary condition. More specifically, Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy is a bilateral progressive familial disorder in which corneal edema may be a late manifestation. In contradistinction, corneal edema, which appears following trauma or surgery of the anterior segment, is due to endothelial damage and decompensation. It must be recognized that the traumatic episode has either damaged the endothelium or caused the progression of a previously existing endothelial dystrophy that, to that point, had been compensated.This distinction is important, since the occurrence of postoperative edema clearly implies that the surgical procedure and its attendant trauma has caused the corneal decompensation, and the resultant edema does not represent a true (hereditary) corneal dystrophy. Recognizing that, we can seek to modify
Baum J, Boruchoff A. Corneal Dystrophy. Arch Ophthalmol. 1983;101(4):667. doi:10.1001/archopht.1983.01040010667036