3D-Reconstruction of the human conventional outflow system by ribbon scanning confocal microscopy

PloS One
Ralitsa LoewenNils A Loewen


The risk for glaucoma is driven by the microanatomy and function of the anterior segment. We performed a computation-intense, high-resolution, full-thickness ribbon-scanning confocal microscopy (RSCM) of the outflow tract of two human eyes. We hypothesized this would reveal important species differences when compared to existing data of porcine eyes, an animal that does not spontaneously develop glaucoma. After perfusing two human octogenarian eyes with lectin-fluorophore conjugate and optical clearance with benzyl alcohol benzyl benzoate (BABB), anterior segments were scanned by RSCM and reconstructed in 3D for whole-specimen rendering. Morphometric analyses of the outflow tract were performed for the trabecular meshwork (TM), limbal, and perilimbal outflow structures and compared to existing porcine data. RSCM provided high-resolution data for IMARIS-based surface reconstruction of outflow tract structures in 3D. Different from porcine eyes with an abundance of highly interconnected, narrow, and short collector channels (CCs), human eyes demonstrated fewer CCs which had a 1.5x greater cross-sectional area (CSA) and 2.6x greater length. Proximal CC openings at the level of Schlemm's canal (SC) had a 1.3x larger CSA than distal...Continue Reading


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