Morphology of corneal nerves using confocal microscopy

Oliveira-Soto, Laura & Efron, Nathan (2001) Morphology of corneal nerves using confocal microscopy. Cornea, 20(4), pp. 374-384.


PURPOSE: The aim of the current study was to evaluate the distribution and morphology of corneal nerves as seen by means of white light confocal microscopy. METHODS: This study analyzed images of corneal nerves that were obtained using the Tomey Confoscan slit scanning confocal microscope (40x/0.75 objective lens). The images were classified according to their location within the cornea. The objective and subjective evaluation of the images involved measuring, grading, or judging a number of parameters from both individual pictures and from each single nerve fiber within any image. RESULTS: The in vivo observations made in this work are in agreement with those of previous histologic studies. The general scheme of corneal innervation is described as originating from thick and straight stromal nerve trunks that extend lateral and anteriorly and give rise to plexiform arrangements of progressively thinner nerve fibers at several levels within the stroma. From there, nerve fibers perforate Bowman's layer and eventually form a dense neural plexus just beneath the basal epithelial cell layer, which is characterized by tortuous and thin beaded nerve fibers interconnected by numerous nerve elements; nerve fibers from this plexus are known to be responsible for the innervation of the epithelium. CONCLUSION: This study provides convincing evidence of the suitability of confocal microscopy to image corneal nerves, the only drawback being the limited resolution in terms of the differentiation of the ultrastructure of nerve bundles.

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201 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 7969
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the publisher's website (link above) or contact the author:
Additional URLs:
Keywords: confocal microscopy, corneal nerves, cornea
ISSN: 1536-4798
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300) > Optometry and Ophthalmology not elsewhere classified (111399)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Deposited On: 06 Jun 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 16:38

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