Comparison of corneal morphological characteristics between diabetic and non diabetic population

Qamar Ul Islam, Mohammad Asim Mehboob, Zulfiqar Ali Amin


Objective: To compare corneal morphological parameters between diabetics and age matched non-diabetic control subjects and to evaluate the correlation of these parameters in relation to duration of diabetes mellitus (DM), glycemic status and severity of  diabetic retinopathy.(DR).

Methods: This cross sectional comparative study was conducted at the Department of Ophthalmology, PNS Shifa Karachi from February 2016 to January 2017. Patients with ages between 10 to 80 years of either gender who were diagnosed to have DM were recruited in the study. Control group comprised of age matched healthy volunteers who did not have DM. Corneal morphological parameters (CED, Average cell size, CV of cell size and hexagonality) was evaluated in each subject with non-contact specular microscope and findings were endorsed on a pre devised proforma.

Results: Data of 298 eyes (149 diabetic patients and 149 healthy controls) was evaluated. Mean corneal endothelial cell density (CED) of diabetic population was 2494.47 ± 394.10 cells/mm2, while mean CED of control group was 2574.46 ± 279.97 cells/mm2 [p = 0.04]. Between group differences in mean average cell size, CV of cell size and hexagonality was statistically not significant. Analysis of corneal endothelial parameters among subgroups of patients with no DR, with NPDR and PDR did not show statistically significant difference. Moreover, patients with diabetes of more than 10 years duration had significantly lower CED (p <0.01) and larger average cell size (p= 0.03). Duration of DM was significantly correlated with type of DR, HbA1c level, CED, polymegethism and hexagonality.

Conclusion: Mean corneal endothelial cell density (CED)  was found to be significantly lower in diabetic population as compared to healthy controls. 


How to cite this:Qamar Ul Islam, Mehboob MA, Amin ZA. Comparison of corneal morphological characteristics between diabetic and non diabetic population. Pak J Med Sci. 2017;33(6):1307-1311.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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