Full-field optical coherence tomography of human donor and diseased corneas

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Abstract

Purpose

To evaluate the performance of a full-field optical coherence tomography (FF-OCT) system in the study of human donor and diseased corneas and assess its suitability for use in eye banks

Methods

Our study was carried out using a full-field OCT system from LLTech ®, developed for non-invasive imaging of tissue structures in depth. Images were acquired on human donor corneas (in normal and oedematous conditions) and surgical specimens of diseased corneas (Fuchs dystrophy, keratoconus, stromal scar after keratitis)

Results

The Full-field OCT device from LLTech® enabled three dimensional images to be obtained with ultrahigh resolution (1 micron in all directions) comparable to traditional histological sections. This allowed a precise visualisation of the cells and the different structures (epithelium, Bowman’s membrane, stroma, Descemet’s membrane and endothelium) in normal corneas, but also in diseased corneas (even in the presence of an oedema), with specific lesions in each condition.

Conclusion

Optical and specular microscopy, with a detailed view of the corneal endothelium and a cell density determination, remain the « gold standard » in the study of human cornea grafts. However, full-field OCT, thanks to a more complete anatomical stydy of the cornea, could be helpful in the evaluation and the selection of human cornea grafts which quality plays a major role in the outlook of the corneal transplant

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