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Edward Lum, Blanka Golebiowski, Helen A. Swarbrick; Mapping the Corneal Sub-Basal Nerve Plexus in Orthokeratology Lens Wear Using in vivo Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(4):1803-1809. doi: 10.1167/iovs.11-8706.
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This study was designed to map the sub-basal nerve plexus (SBNP) in the cornea of orthokeratology (OK) lens wearers.
Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) was performed in vivo on three subjects: a non–lens wearer and two OK lens wearers. Scans were performed on the right eye while the left eye fixated a moving target. A total of 575, 430, and 676 contiguous images of the SBNP were taken from the non–lens wearing and the OK lens wearing subjects, respectively, and used to construct maps of the central to mid-peripheral SBNP.
In the non–lens wearing eye, nerves radiated towards a whorl-like complex centered nasally and inferiorly in an overall pattern consistent with previously reported studies. In the OK lens wearing eyes, this whorl pattern was absent, replaced by a tortuous network of nerve fibers centrally, and thicker curvilinear fibers mid-peripherally, particularly in the nasal, inferior, and temporal regions.
This study maps the corneal SBNP in OK lens wearers and provides compelling evidence that OK lens wear alters the normal SBNP distribution observed in healthy, non–lens wearing eyes.
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