Morphogenesis of the human excretory lacrimal system

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the principal developmental stages in the formation of the excretory lacrimal system in humans and to establish its morphogenetic period. The study was performed using light microscopy on serial sections of 51 human specimens: 33 embryos and 18 fetuses ranging from 8 to 137 mm crown–rump length (CR; 5–16 weeks of development). Three stages were identified in the morphogenesis of the excretory lacrimal system: (1) the formative stage of the lacrimal lamina (Carnegie stages 16–18); (2) the formative stage of the lacrimal cord (Carnegie stages 19–23); and (3) the maturative stage of the excretory lacrimal system, from the 9th week of development onward. A three-dimensional reconstruction of the excretory lacrimal system was performed from serial sections of an embryo at the end of the embryonic period (27 mm CR).

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