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Stephen Wahlig, Gary Hin-Fai Yam, Wesley Chong, Xin-Yi Seah, Viridiana Kocaba, Marcus Ang, Hla Myint Htoon, Tin A. Tun, Hon Shing Ong, Jodhbir S. Mehta; Quantification of the Posterior Cornea Using Swept Source Optical Coherence Tomography. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2018;7(5):2. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.7.5.2.
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We define optical coherence tomography (OCT) measurement parameters of the corneal endothelium/Descemet's membrane (DM) complex and peripheral transition zone (TZ) and describe these measurements in an ethnically Chinese population.
OCT images of the anterior segment and iridocorneal angle were obtained from 129 healthy Chinese subjects (129 eyes), aged 40 to 81 years. The scleral spur (SS) and Schwalbe's line (SL) were identified in each image. Endothelium/DM diameter, referred to as endothelial arc length (EAL), is the SL-to-SL distance. The SS-to-SL distance encompasses the TZ and trabecular meshwork (TM). Since the TZ cannot be visualized by OCT, a ratio of TZ-to-TZ+TM width was calculated from scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images obtained from 5 cadaveric corneas. The SS-to-SL distance was multiplied by this ratio to approximate in vivo TZ width.
From SEM measurements, the relationship TZ = 0.20*(TZ+TM) was determined. From OCT measurements, mean EAL was 12.15 ± 0.58 mm and mean TZ width was 156 ± 20 μm. For eyes with horizontal and vertical images, vertical EAL was significantly greater than horizontal EAL (P = 0.03).
Corneal endothelium/DM diameter and TZ width can be obtained from OCT images. Although only combined TZ+TM is visualized on OCT, TZ width can be reasonably approximated.
Emerging procedures, like endothelial cell injection and DM transplantation (DMT), require accurate measurements of endothelium/DM size for preoperative planning. Size of the TZ, which may contain progenitor cells, also could contribute to endothelial regeneration in these procedures.
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