Conjunctival changes following Muller’s muscle conjunctival resection

Robert Beaulieu, Emma McDonnell, Stacy M. Scofield-Kaplan, Bret M. Evers, R. Nick Hogan, Ronald Mancini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To analyze the conjunctival changes, especially goblet cell populations, following Muller’s muscle conjunctival resection (MMCR) by histologically evaluating pre and post-MMCR specimens. Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of conjunctival samples sent for histologic evaluation from two patient populations: those who had previously undergone a MMCR and required repeat surgery and controls who underwent a MMCR surgery in a previously unoperated eyelid. Specimens underwent hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining to accentuate goblet cell identification and were evaluated by two ocular pathologists to quantify goblet cell populations and note other anatomical changes. Statistical analysis of goblet cell populations was then performed. Results: Four samples were identified for each group: (1) post-MMCR and (2) control. The mean age was 67 years in the post-MMCR group and 66 years in the control group. The mean goblet cell population was 7 ± 5 cells/mm in the post-MMCR conjunctiva and was 39 ± 16 cells/mm in the control group, which was statistically significant (p = 0.01). Samples from both groups demonstrated scarring and inflammatory cell infiltrate. Conclusions: While there was a relative loss of goblet cell populations in the conjunctiva overlying the region of surgery following MMCR, the lack of dry eye symptoms or changes in tear production reported in prior studies suggests that there may be enough goblet cell population reserve in the remaining accessory lacrimal glands and in the unaltered conjunctiva to provide sufficient lubrication and ocular protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Ophthalmology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Conjunctiva
  • Conjunctival changes
  • Goblet cells
  • Muller’s muscle conjunctival resection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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