Glaucoma-associated corneal endothelial cell damage: A review

Surv Ophthalmol. 2018 Jul-Aug;63(4):500-506. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2017.11.002. Epub 2017 Nov 14.


The corneal endothelium is critical in maintaining a healthy and clear cornea. Corneal endothelial cells have a significant reserve function, but preservation of these cells is paramount as they have limited regenerative capacity. Glaucoma is a prevalent disease, and damage to the corneal endothelium may be caused by the disease process itself as well as by its treatment. The mechanisms involved in glaucoma-associated damage to the corneal endothelium need further investigation. Understanding how glaucoma and glaucoma surgery impact the endothelium is important for protecting corneal clarity and visual acuity in all glaucoma patients, including those undergoing corneal transplant. We will discuss a range of identified factors that may impact corneal endothelial cell health in glaucoma, including intraocular pressure, glaucoma medications, surgical glaucoma management, mechanical forces, and alterations in the aqueous environment.

Keywords: aqueous humor; corneal endothelium; glaucoma; intraocular pressure; keratoplasty.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / adverse effects
  • Aqueous Humor / physiology
  • Corneal Endothelial Cell Loss / etiology*
  • Corneal Endothelial Cell Loss / physiopathology
  • Filtering Surgery / adverse effects
  • Glaucoma / complications
  • Glaucoma / pathology*
  • Glaucoma / therapy
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology


  • Antihypertensive Agents