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May 1993

Corneal Endothelial Involvement in Pseudoexfoliation Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1993;111(5):666-674. doi:10.1001/archopht.1993.01090050100038

• Information on corneal manifestation in pseudoexfoliation syndrome is restricted to specular microscopic studies. We investigated morphologic changes of the posterior cornea of two corneal buttons with Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy obtained at penetrating keratoplasty and of one enucleated glaucomatous eye from three patients with ocular pseudoexfoliation syndrome. By transmission electron microscopy, large clumps of typical pseudoexfoliation material were found adhering to the corneal endothelium and masses of pseudoexfoliation material were incorporated into the posterior Descemet's membrane. In the affected areas, the endothelial layer appeared irregular and discontinuous, with loosely adherent, degenerating cells producing pseudoexfoliation fibers and fibroblastic cells spreading to cover denuded Descemet's membrane. The present findings indicate that the pseudoexfoliation material is initially formed by degenerative endothelial cells and that it becomes subsequently buried by overgrowing cells. The corneal endothelial involvement may potentiate complications of cataract surgery and open angle glaucoma in patients with pseudoexfoliation syndrome.

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