Corneal epithelial fragility in diabetes mellitus

Can J Ophthalmol. 1995 Apr;30(3):142-6.


Objective: To assess corneal epithelial fragility in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and its association with retinopathy.

Design: Survey.

Setting: University-affiliated hospital in Chandigarh, India.

Subjects: Seventy patients with NIDDM selected at random and 35 age-matched healthy control subjects recruited from hospital staff and their relatives.

Main outcome measure: Corneal epithelial fragility, as measured with an esthesiometer.

Results: Mean corneal epithelial fragility values were significantly higher for the diabetic subjects without retinopathy than for the control subjects (p < 0.05). The mean epithelial fragility values for the eyes with diabetic proliferative retinopathy and those with nonproliferative retinopathy were significantly higher (by 84% and 41% respectively) than the mean value for the diabetic subjects without retinopathy (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in mean epithelial fragility values between the proliferative and nonproliferative retinopathy groups.

Conclusions: Eyes with diabetic retinopathy demonstrate increased corneal epithelial fragility.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cornea / physiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / complications*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / physiopathology
  • Epithelium / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sensation