In vivo imaging of corneal endothelial dystrophy in boston terriers: A spontaneous, canine model for fuchs’endothelial corneal dystrophy

Sara M Thomasy, Dennis E. Cortes, Alyssa L. Hoehn, Allison C. Calderon, Jennifer Li, Christopher J Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: Boston Terriers (BTs) have a greater prevalence of corneal endothelial dystrophy (CED), in comparison to other canine breeds. Similar to Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD), this condition is characterized by endothelial cell degeneration with secondary corneal edema. This study assessed corneal morphology using in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) and Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT) in BTs with and without CED. Methods: The corneas of 16 BTs with CED and 15 unaffected, age-matched BTs underwent clinical evaluation and were imaged using IVCM and FD-OCT. A two-sample t-test or Mann-Whitney rank sum test were used to statistically compare parameters between groups. Data are presented as mean ± SD or median (range). Results: Mean age did not significantly differ between affected and unaffected dogs at 10.0 ± 2.0 and 10.6 ± 2.4 years, respectively (P = 0.437). Females (69%) were overrepresented among the CED-affected dogs. In CED patients, IVCM demonstrated endothelial polymegathism and pleomorphism. Corneal endothelial density was significantly less (P < 0.001) in dogs with CED (1026 ± 260 cells/mm2) versus age-matched controls (2297 ± 372 cells/mm2). Fourier-domain OCT demonstrated a significant increase (P < 0.01) in central corneal and endothelium-Descemet's complex thickness in dogs with CED versus age-matched controls at 1019 (485–1550) or 536 (464–650) μm and 32 (22–56) or 25 (15–34) μm, respectively. Conclusions: Corneal endothelial dystrophy in BTs is a bilateral, adult-onset condition that shares many similarities with FECD. Thus, CED could serve as a spontaneous disease model to study the pathogenesis of and develop novel treatments for FECD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-503
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Canine model
  • Corneal endothelial dystrophy
  • Fuchs’ endothelial corneal dystrophy
  • In vivo confocal microscopy
  • Optical coherencetomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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