Comparison of corneal endothelial cell measurements by two non-contact specular microscopes
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Abstract Background Measurement of corneal endothelial cell density is important both for clinical diagnosis as well as clinical studies. Since endothelial cell loss is considered irreversible in humans, even small changes in endothelial cell density are relevant. Therefore it is important to know whether different instruments for endothelial cell density measurements give the same results and can thus be used interchangeably. In this study we compare corneal endothelial cell density and morphometry measurements from two widely used non-contact specular microscopes, the Topcon SP3000P and Konan Noncon Robo SP8000. Methods Endothelial cell measurements were performed with both the Topcon SP3000P and Konan Noncon Robo SP8000 on 34 eyes of 18 consecutive patients of our cornea clinics with poor image quality being the only exclusion criterion. Images were obtained using the auto-focussing method and manual cell selection. Endothelial cell density (ECD), hexagonal cell ratio (HEX) and coefficient of value (CV) of the endothelial cell layer were calculated by the instruments’ built-in software. Results ECD values calculated by the Konan were systematically higher than Topcon values: in 94 % of eyes Konan gave a higher value than Topcon, leading to a mean difference in ECD between the instruments of 187 cells/mm2 (P < 0.001 in paired Wilcoxon test). HEX showed a broad range of values and differed greatly with only weak correlation between the two instruments. CV values for Konan mostly exceeded Topcon values, and only showed a weak correlation between the two instruments as well. Conclusions Values for ECD between the Konan and the Topcon do correlate well, but the ECDs calculated by the Konan are systematically higher than Topcon values. Both HEX and CV vary greatly and do not correlate sufficiently. Thus we recommend not to use the Konan and the Topcon instrument interchangeably.