Clinical and Diagnostic Use of In Vivo Confocal Microscopy in Patients with Corneal Disease

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291 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this article is to introduce the practicing ophthalmologist to the optical principles and images produced by a tandem scanning confocal microscope (recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for general clinical use). The tandem scanning confocal microscope allows real-time viewing of structures in the living cornea at the cellular level in four dimensions (x, y, z, and time). Methods: Nine patients (2 males, 7 females), ranging in age from 7 to 52 years, were examined. Images were recorded on super VHS videotape, digitized and processed on a computer workstation, and photographed for presentation. Results: Two-dimensional (x, y) 400 X 400-µm images (9-µm z-axis thickness) are presented for normal corneal structures and for the clinical conditions of herpetic keratitis, wound healing after myopic excimer ablation, Acanthamoeba infection, corneal dystrophies (granular, Reis-Buckler), contact lens abrasion, and the irido-corneal endothelial syndrome. Conclusion: Clinical confocal microscopy has the unique potential of providing noninvasive assessment of corneal injury and disease at the cellular level that is not available currently from other technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1444-1454
Number of pages11
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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