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Background: Silicone hydrogel lenses enable contact lenses to be worn on extended and continuous wear basis. The literature is scarce on the effect of this lens wear modality on the endothelial cells of the cornea, particularly amongst Asian.
Aims and Objective: The objective of this study is to determine corneal endothelial cell morphological changes amongst silicone hydrogel soft contact lenses in a sample of Malaysian subject.
Methods: Twenty seven (27) silicone hydrogel contact lens wearers were invited to participate in the study. Spectacle lens wearers were recruited as control and matched with respect to age and gender. Specular microscope was used to photograph central, superior, inferior, nasal and temporal corneal endothelium of the subjects. The corneal endothelial cell density, coefficient of variation of endothelial cell size and percentage of hexagonal cells were used as indicators of corneal morphological changes and were compared between the two groups of subjects.
Results: The subjects consisted of contact lens wearers who have worn their silicone hydrogel soft contact lenses up to 24 months on a daily wear basis. The results showed no significant differences in endothelial cell density, coefficient of variation of endothelial cell size and percentage of hexagonal cells between the silicone hydrogel soft contact lens wearers and controls.
Conclusion: Daily wear of silicone hydrogel soft contact lens of 3- 24 months durations does not cause corneal endothelial morphological changes in a sample of Malaysian subjects, probably due to the lens high oxygen transmissibility and short duration of lens wear. This implies that silicone hydrogel lenses are safe to be worn on extended daily wear basis but future studies should examine its long term effects on the Asian eyes.
Asians, Silicone hydrogel, contact lenses, cornea endothelium morphology, ECD, specular microscope