Panoramic view of human corneal endothelial cell layer observed by a prototype slit-scanning wide-field contact specular microscope

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Abstract

Purpose

To observe the most peripheral region of the corneal endothelial cell (CEC) layer as long as optically recordable by use of a prototype slit-scanning wide-field contact specular microscope and produce a panoramic image to evaluate the variation of CEC density with ageing.

Design

Observational case series study.

Methods

This study involved 15 eyes of 15 normal healthy subjects divided into three groups according to age: A (20–40 years), B (41–60 years) and C (>60 years). The corneal endothelial layer of each eye was recorded in a horizontal direction, from nasal to temporal, with a slit-scanning wide-field contact specular microscope (Konan) and endothelial cell density (ECD) in three specific regions (central, mid-peripheral, and peripheral) was automatically calculated via built-in analysis software.

Results

Corneal endothelial images from near the surgical limbus to limbus in all eyes were clearly recorded and panoramic images were made by combining still images. ECD in groups A, B and C were 2809±186, 2717±91 and 2580±129 cells/mm2 at the centre, 2902±242, 2772±97 and 2604±187 cells/mm2 at the mid-periphery and 2893±308, 2691±99 and 2533±112 cells/mm2 at the periphery. Significance differences in ECD was found between groups A and C in all regions and groups between B and C at mid-peripheral region.

Conclusions

A prototype slit-scanning wide-field contact specular microscope enabled us to record the endothelial layer from the surgical limbus to limbus of the cornea and compare specific areas among subjects, and showed that ECD in each region of the cornea decreases with ageing.

Trial registration number

UMIN000021264, Results.

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