Purpose: To describe corneal endothelial cell density and morphology in the Indian population and to compare endothelial cell characteristics in the Indian population with data available in literature for American and Japanese populations.
Methods: Specular microscopy and corneal pachymetry were performed in both eyes of 537 normal Indian volunteers, aged 20-87 years. Parameters studied included endothelial cell density, cell area, coefficient of variation (CV) in cell area and hexagonality.
Results: Mean endothelial cell density in the study population was 2,525 +/- 337 cells/mm2. There was a statistically significant decrease in endothelial cell density with age (p < 0.001, correlation -0.387) and the rate of cell loss was 0.3% per year. There was also a statistically significant increase in mean cell area (p < 0.001, correlation 0.362) and CV (p = 0.02, correlation 0.096), and decrease in percentage of hexagonal cells (p = 0.01, correlation -0.127) with increasing age. There was no significant difference in these parameters between fellow eyes of subjects. In all age groups, the mean endothelial cell density was significantly lower than values reported previously in the Japanese population. The values were less than those described in the American population, but the differences were statistically significant only in the 20-30 and 41-50 year age groups.
Conclusion: Normative data for the endothelium in the Indian population are reported. Endothelial cell density in Indian eyes is less than the values described in the Japanese and American populations.