COVID-19 Related Changes in Corneal Curvature and Endothelium After Mild Infection

The study, “COVID-19 Related Changes in Corneal Curvature and Endothelium After Mild Infection” examines the potential impact of mild COVID-19 infection on the cornea.

Here’s a detailed summary:

Study Overview:

  • The research aims to investigate subclinical changes in the cornea following mild COVID-19 infections, focusing on corneal curvature and endothelial layer evaluations.

Methods and Participants:

  • Conducted on 56 individuals (112 eyes) with mild COVID-19.
  • Participants were aged 23-34 years, without prior ophthalmic pathology or systemic chronic disease.
  • The study involved detailed ophthalmic examinations, including corneal topography and specular microscopy, before and approximately one year after COVID-19 infection.

Key Findings:

  1. Endothelial Changes:
    • Significant changes were observed in all endothelial cell parameters, except for the number of cells.
    • The median endothelial cell density (ECD) value decreased significantly after COVID-19.
    • The central corneal thickness (CCT) values showed a significant increase.
  2. Corneal Curvature and Refraction:
    • While there were significant decreases in certain corneal topographical measures (K1 and Kmean), others like Kmax and topographic astigmatism didn’t show significant changes.
    • Spherical Equivalent (SE) values indicated significant myopic progression after COVID-19.
  3. Implications:
    • These findings suggest changes in corneal endothelial parameters and refractive data post mild COVID-19, without notable changes in topographical data.
    • The decrease in ECD and increase in polymorphism were particularly striking, indicating potential endothelial damage.

Study Significance:

  • The study is significant as it’s the first to compare the change in corneal curvature, ECD, and morphology before and after approximately one year of COVID-19 infection in the same group of subjects.
  • Highlights the importance of monitoring corneal changes in those who have had COVID-19, even in cases of mild infection.

Limitations:

  • Lack of an uninfected control group and detailed analysis of COVID-19 disease severity.
  • Further studies are needed for a comprehensive understanding of these changes.

Conclusion:

  • The study provides evidence that mild COVID-19 can lead to significant changes in corneal endothelium and refractive data, which might have long-term implications for ocular health.

This summary details the study’s methodology, findings, and implications, providing valuable insights into how even mild COVID-19 can affect ocular health. This information can be particularly useful for healthcare professionals and individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.

Read More: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1572100023006269

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