Corneal and lenticular densitometry values were elevated in patients who have had COVID-19 compared with those who have not, according to findings published in Optometry and Vision Science.
Researchers conducted a prospective, cross-sectional study to report the corneal and lenticular clarity of patients who were previously diagnosed with COVID-19. The study included 53 patients who recovered from COVID-19 and 51 healthy individuals who never had the disease. Researchers measured the corneal (at a diameter of 12 mm) and lens densitometry of participants using a topographical imaging system. They analyzed anterior, central, and posterior layers, and established 4 concentric zones consisting of diameters 0 to 2 mm, 2 to 6 mm, 6 to 10 mm, and 10 to 12 mm. The mean lenticular densitometric values were calculated at 2.0 mm, 4.0 mm, and 6.0 mm in zones 1, 2, and 3, respectively, by using the central part of the pupil as a reference point.
The study found that corneal densitometry measurements in patients in the COVID-19 group were considerably higher in anterior 0 to 2 mm, 2 to 6 mm, 6 to 10 mm zones, and total diameter; center 0 to 2 and 2 to 6 mm zones and total diameter; posterior 0 to 2 mm zone; and total corneal 0 to 2 and 2 to 6 mm zones, and total diameter (P <.05, for each) compared with those in the control group. All of the lens densitometry measurements, except for those located in zone 1, were significantly higher among the patients in the COVID-19 group (P <.05, for each).
“The differences we found between COVID-19 and control patients in values related to corneal densitometry suggest that there may be a global impact on the cornea, especially in the anterior layer and central zones,” according to the researchers. Investigators further suggest that the COVID-19 virus could adversely affect cornea and lens transparency.
Study limitations include a relatively small sample size, confounding due to medications taken by the participants, and a short study duration.
Aydemir E, Aydemir GA, Atesoglu HI, et al. Objective assessment of corneal and lens clarity in patients with COVID-19. Optom Vis Sci. 2021;98(12):1348-1354. doi:10.1097/OPX.0000000000001814