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Evaluation of the effect of chronic smoking habit on corneal endothelial cells, central corneal thickness and dry eye tests

Yucel Karakurt, Mukadder Sunar, Nurdan Gamze Tasli, Turgay Ucak, Sumeyye Burcu Agcayazi, Adem Ugurlu, Erel Icel.


Aim: The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of chronic smoking habit on corneal endothelial cells, central corneal thickness, and dry eye tests.
Material and Methods: A total of 160 eyes of 160 chronic smokers and 160 eyes of 160 control cases were included in the study. The smokers were grouped into 4 groups according to pack-year smoking as follows: 0-10, 10-20, 20-30, >30. Endothelial cell density (CD), average cell size (AVG), percentage of hexagonal cell (HEX), and coefficient of variation (CV), central corneal thickness (CCT) were measured using a specular microscope. The Tear Break-Up Time (TUBT) and Schirmer tests were performed.
Results: In Group 1 and Group 2, there was no significant difference between the smoker and the control groups in terms of CD, AVG, HEX and CV. In Group 3 and Group 4, there was a significant decrease in CD and HEX values, while there was a significant increase in AVG and CV values. CCT values were not significantly different in the Groups 1,2 and 3, whereas there was a significant decrease in the Group 4. TBUT and Schirmer tests were significantly decreased in all groups.
Conclusion: It was found that as the number of pack-year increased, CD and HEX values decreased and AVG and CV values increased. Dry eye tests were affected in a shorter period of time, while CCT was affected in a longer period of time than the time required for CD, HEX, AVG and CV parameters to be affected.

Key words: Corneal Endothelium; Smoking; Specular Microscopy.

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