Optical Coherence Tomography Imaging of the Palisades of Vogt to Assist Clinical Evaluation and Surgical Planning in a Case of Limbal Stem-Cell Deficiency

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Purpose:To describe the use of volumetric optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging to assist evaluation of a patient referred for autologous limbal stem-cell transplant.Methods:This is a case report of a 50-year-old patient presenting with unilateral limbal stem-cell deficiency who was referred for autologous limbal stem-cell transplant. The presence of Salzmann nodules in the donor eye raised questions about the efficacy of transplantation, prompting examination of both eyes using volumetric OCT imaging to determine whether there were palisades of Vogt (POV) present. Image volumes were acquired in all clock hours and were compared against those of an age-matched normal subject.Results:Palisades were found in both eyes, although in both eyes there were fewer palisade ridges, and those that were present were not as distinct as those of the normal subject. The OCT volumes also showed that stromal scarring was present only in the anterior stroma of the intended transplant eye. These findings suggested that the patient may be able to sustain a deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty without an autologous transplant, which would spare any insult to the opposing eye and require less surgery to restore vision in the affected eye. Nine months postsurgical follow-up revealed significant improvement in visual acuity and no scar tissue development.Conclusion:The OCT evaluation of the POV provides detailed information to the clinician that may assist in diagnosis and evaluation of patients before transplantation. Further development of this technique is necessary to make it clinically available.

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