The cornea in classic type ehlers-danlos syndrome: Macro- and microstructural changes

Edoardo Villani, Elena Garoli, Alessandra Bassotti, Fabrizio Magnani, Laura Tresoldi, Paolo Nucci, Roberto Ratiglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE. To analyze in vivo corneal morphology and ultrastructural features in patients with classic Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). METHODS. Fifty patients with classic EDS and 50 age- and sex-matched control subjects were studied. A clinical evaluation was made with the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire and a complete ophthalmic examination, including assessment of the bestcorrected visual acuity and refraction, slit-lamp biomicroscopy, tear break-up time, intraocular pressure, Schirmer test without topical anesthesia, and corneal diameter. Scheimpflug camera topography and in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) were used to investigate corneal morphology and corneal ultrastructural features respectively. RESULTS. Classic EDS patients, compared to controls, had thinner and steeper corneas (P <0.001 and P <0.05, respectively; independent samples t-test). IVCM showed thinner stromas, lower keratocyte densities (P <0.001), increased applanation-related stromal folds (P <0.001; Mann-Whitney U test), and increased endothelial hyperreflective dots (P <0.05) in these patients. The study group also had increased symptoms (OSDI score: P <0.01, independent samples t-test) and signs (tear break-up time and Schirmer test: P <0.001 and P <0.05, respectively) of tear film dysfunction. CONCLUSIONS. Patients with classic EDS had macro- and microstructural changes of the cornea, which is a target tissue of the disease. These findings should be considered to optimize clinical management of these patients and to evaluate the opportunity of adding ocular findings to the classic EDS diagnostic criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8062-8068
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Oct 29 2013


  • Collagen v
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Connective tissue
  • Cornea
  • Ehlers-danlos syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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