Peripheral-to-central ratio of Guttae: validity and reliability of an objective method to characterize severity of Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy.

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PURPOSE: Common methods of measuring severity of Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) are limited in objectivity, reliability, or start with a variable baseline that prevents distinguishing healthy from affected eyes. The aim of this study was to describe a method of grading FECD that overcomes these limitations.

METHODS: Fifteen patients with Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy were included in the study. Guttae were imaged with a slit lamp beam 8 mm tall; the bottom 4 mm half of each image was divided into two equally-sized sections. Guttae were counted by four independent graders blinded to disease severity scores. The peripheral:central guttae ratio was compared to modified Krachmer clinical severity scores. The peripheral:central guttae ratio was compared between mild (severity 0.5-3) versus moderate-to-severe (severity 4-5) disease. Receiver operating characteristics defined optimal ratio cutoffs for mild versus moderate-to-severe disease.

RESULTS: Increased peripheral guttae and peripheral:central guttae ratio correlated with Krachmer severity (p = 0.021 and p = 0.009, respectively). The difference between mild and moderate-to-severe cases for the peripheral:central guttae ratio was significant (p < 0.001). Inter-rater reliability of total guttae count was high (coefficient = 0.82, p < 0.001). A peripheral:central guttae ratio of 0.16 was the ideal cut-off point (area under the curve = 0.79, sensitivity = 0.78, and specificity = 0.80).

CONCLUSION: In this pilot study, the peripheral:central ratio of guttae correlates with subjective clinical severity of Fuchs dystrophy. It starts at a common baseline, has good inter-rater reliability, does not require dilation, and can be conducted with a smartphone and slit-lamp.

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Graefe's archive for clinical and experimental ophthalmology = Albrecht von Graefes Archiv fur klinische und experimentelle Ophthalmologie





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