Background: We describe corneal endothelial cell density and morphology in normal Iranian eyes and compare endothelial cell characteristics in the Iranian population with data available in the literature for American and Indian populations.
Methods: Specular microscopy was performed in 525 eyes of normal Iranian people aged 20 to 85 years old. The studied parameters including mean endothelial cell density (MCD), mean cell area (MCA) and coefficient of variation (CV) in cell area were analyzed in all of the 525 eyes.
Results: MCD was 1961 +/- 457 cell/mm2 and MCA was 537.0 +/- 137.4 microm2. There was no statistically significant difference in MCD, MCA and CV between genders (Student t-test, P = 0.85, P = 0.97 and P = 0.15 respectively). There was a statistically significant decrease in MCD with age (P < 0.001, r = -0.64). The rate of cell loss was 0.6% per year. There was also a statistically significant increase in MCA (P < 0.001,r = 0.56) and CV (P < 0.001, r = 0.30) from 20 to 85 years of age.
Conclusion: The first normative data for the endothelium of Iranian eyes seems to confirm that there are no differences in MCD, MCA and CV between genders. Nevertheless, the values obtained in Iranian eyes seem to be different to those reported by the literature in Indian and American populations.