Clinical applications of corneal confocal microscopy
Mitra Tavakoli1, Parwez Hossain2, Rayaz A Malik1
1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Manchester and Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK; 2University of Southampton, Southampton Eye Unit, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK
Abstract: Corneal confocal microscopy is a novel clinical technique for the study of corneal cellular structure. It provides images which are comparable to in-vitro histochemical techniques delineating corneal epithelium, Bowman’s layer, stroma, Descemet’s membrane and the corneal endothelium. Because, corneal confocal microscopy is a non invasive technique for in vivo imaging of the living cornea it has huge clinical potential to investigate numerous corneal diseases. Thus far it has been used in the detection and management of pathologic and infectious conditions, corneal dystrophies and ecstasies, monitoring contact lens induced corneal changes and for pre and post surgical evaluation (PRK, LASIK and LASEK, flap evaluations and Radial Keratotomy), and penetrating keratoplasty. Most recently it has been used as a surrogate for peripheral nerve damage in a variety of peripheral neuropathies and may have potential in acting as a surrogate marker for endothelial abnormalities.
Keywords: corneal confocal microscopy, cornea, infective keratitis, corneal dystrophy, neuropathy
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