Objective To investigate whether Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) severity is associated with glaucoma and/or ocular hypertension (G/OHTN).
Methods A subset of eyes (n = 1610) from the FECD Genetics Multi-Center Study were examined to estimate the association between FECD severity (grades 0-6 based on guttae confluence) and G/OHTN. Logistic regression models that accounted for the correlation between eyes and adjusted for age, sex, central corneal thickness, intraocular pressure, presence of diabetes, and time of day of the initial evaluation were fit.
Results A total of 107 eyes (6.6%) had G/OHTN based on the study definition. The prevalence of G/OHTN in the control group was 6.0%. The prevalence was lower in index cases with an FECD grade of 1 through 3 and family members with a grade of 0 or 1 through 3 (0.0% and 2.1%, respectively) but higher in index cases and family members with a grade of 4 through 6 (11.2% and 8.5%, respectively). Adjusting for covariates, eyes with a grade of 4 through 6 were more likely to have concurrent G/OHTN than eyes with no FECD (index cases vs controls: odds ratio [OR] = 2.10, P = .04; affected vs unaffected family members: OR = 7.06, P = .07). Age (OR = 1.06 per 1-year increase, P < .001) and intraocular pressure (OR = 1.15 per 1–mm Hg increase, P < .001) were also associated with an increased prevalence of G/OHTN. Sex, diabetes, time of day of evaluation, and central corneal thickness were not associated with the prevalence of G/OHTN (P ≥ .15).
Conclusions Glaucoma and/or ocular hypertension occurs more often in eyes with severe FECD compared with unaffected eyes. Therefore, it may be beneficial to monitor for the development of glaucoma in these patients.