May 2003
Volume 44, Issue 13
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2003
Clinical and Ultrastructural Findings in Mare’s Tail Lines of the Corneal Epithelium
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • S. Akhtar
    Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University-Redwood Bld, Cardiff, United Kingdom
  • K.M. Meek
    Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University-Redwood Bld, Cardiff, United Kingdom
  • A.J. Bron
    Dept. of Ophthalmology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  S. Akhtar, None; K.M. Meek, None; A.J. Bron, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  Medical Research Council, (G0001033)
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2003, Vol.44, 1383. doi:
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      S. Akhtar, K.M. Meek, A.J. Bron; Clinical and Ultrastructural Findings in Mare’s Tail Lines of the Corneal Epithelium . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):1383.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Abstract: : Purpose: To report the clinical and ultrastructural findings in two patients with Mare’s Tail lines of the cornea. Mare’s tail lines are uncommon, white tapering lines, within the corneal epithelium, which may give rise to discomfort or to visual symptoms and are treatable by epithelial debridement. Methods: Therapeutic debridement was performed in two patients suffering from mare’s tail disorder. The loosely attached epithelium was removed and fixed in glutaraldehyde containing cuprolinic blue and processed in a standard fashion for electron microscopy. Results: Ultrastructure studies showed an avascular, collagenous pannus, extending under the whole of the excised epithelium and separated from it by a thickened basal lamina-like zone. The basal laminar material extended into the epithelium in folds, in keeping with the clinical features. Interesting ultrastructural features included: 1) A lack of, or imperfect formation of hemi-desmosomes in relation to the basal laminar material 2) Trapping of degenerate keratocytes within the basal laminar folds invaginating in epithelium, 3) An unusual regularity and fine dimensions of the collagen fibrils and proteoglycans making up the sub-epithelial pannus. The basal laminar material contained proteoglycans and small fibres similar in appearance to long-spacing collagen. Conclusions: It appears that Mare’s tail lines are due to basal laminar material, assumed to be of epithelial origin, which invaginates the corneal epithelium. The presence of long-spacing collagen within the basement membrane material, and of a connective tissue pannus beneath it, suggests that there may be a stromal contribution to the disorder.

Keywords: cornea: epithelium • cornea: clinical science • pathology: human 
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