Characterization of Fibrous Retrocorneal Membrane by Confocal Microscopy

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To study the appearance of a fibrous retrocorneal membrane as seen by confocal microscopy.


A 67-year-old white woman with a history of multiple ocular surgeries, including repeated penetrating keratoplasties for aphakic bullous keratopathy, developed a retrocorneal membrane in the right eye. The membrane was first noticed 3 years after the last corneal transplant and remained stable subsequently. The patient was examined by in vivo white light tandem-scanning confocal microscopy.


At the level of the retrocorneal membrane, confocal microscopy disclosed the presence of a hyperreflective fibrous-appearing layer. Normal endothelial cells could not be found. Anterior to the hyperreflective layer, activated keratocytes were identified.


Confocal microscopy may allow noninvasive diagnosis of fibrous retrocorneal membrane. Additionally, our data suggest that the posterior keratocytes might play a role in the production and deposition of fibrous tissue.

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