Central corneal thickness in patients with congenital aniridia

Jess T Whitson, Chanping Liang, David G. Godfrey, Walter M Petroll, Harrison D Cavanagh, Dharmendra Patel, Ronald L. Fellman, Richard J. Starita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Purpose. To compare the mean central corneal thickness (CCT) in patients with congenital aniridia to that of a group of age-matched control subjects. The findings of specular and confocal microscopy in a patient with aniridia are discussed. Methods. The mean values of five consecutive pachymetry measurements of patients with aniridia and control subjects were used for analysis. Statistical analysis was performed with a Mann-Whitney rank sum test. Specular microscopy was performed on one patient with aniridia using a Konan Specular Microscope Noncon ROBO CA (Hyogo, Japan). Confocal microscopy through focusing was performed with the Tandem Scanning Confocal Microscope (Reston, VA). Results. Mean CCT measured 691.8 ± 75.4 μm for patients with aniridia (16 eyes of 10 patients) and 548.2 ± 21.2 μm for control subjects (P<0.001). Specular microscopy in a patient with aniridia showed normal endothelial cell counts and structure. Confocal microscopy through focusing of this patient showed normal-appearing keratocytes and a thick corneal stroma. Conclusions. Patients with congenital aniridia have significantly thicker corneas than do age-matched control subjects. This difference can have important implications for the treatment of those patients who develop secondary glaucoma. The increased CCT in patients with aniridia is not a result of endothelial dysfunction but appears to be the result of the production of a thickened but otherwise healthy cornea by the mutated PAX6 gene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-224
Number of pages4
JournalEye and Contact Lens
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005


  • Aniridia
  • Central comeal thickness
  • Confocal microscopy through focusing
  • Keratocyte
  • PAX6 gene
  • Pachymetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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