Evaluation of corneal epithelial thickness in glaucomatous patients using anterior-segment optical coherence tomography

J Biophotonics. 2020 Jan;13(1):e201900095. doi: 10.1002/jbio.201900095. Epub 2019 Oct 29.


The corneal epithelium represents one of the main structures that undergo degenerative alterations due to antiglaucomatous therapy. Chronic glaucoma therapy containing benzalkonium chloride induces epithelial cellular changes and inflammatory infiltration that in turn causes ocular surface changes resulting in ocular discomfort. Also, age-related changes can involve the tear film stability and the corneal epithelium surface with reduction of microvilli. The objective of this study is to gain insights about the changes in corneal epithelium in glaucomatous patients divided according to age, type and duration of therapy using anterior-segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT). This study evaluated a total of 81 eyes of 42 patients for whom corneal epithelium thickness (CET) was measured in different sectors of the cornea. Our results showed no significant differences in CET among patients divided according to type and duration of treatment, while younger patients showed a thinner CET in comparison with older patients. AS-OCT results demonstrated that the physiological age-related alterations contributed to corneal epithelium changes in patients undergo chronic antiglaucoma therapy.

Keywords: anterior-segment optical coherence tomography; antiglaucoma drugs; corneal epithelium thickness.