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Pichaya Chuephanich, Chantaka Supiyaphun, Carolina Aravena Perez, Tahir Kansu Bozkurt, Fei Yu, Sophie Xiaohui Deng; Corneal subbasal nerve plexus Decreases in Limbal stem cell deficiency patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):3379.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate the correlations between subbasal nerve density (SND) in the cornea in limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) patients by using in vivo laser scanning confocal microscopy.
Cross-sectional comparative study consisted of confocal images of 51 eyes of 37 patients with LSCD collected by the Heidelberg Retina Tomograph III Rostock Corneal Module Confocal Microscope from 2009 to 2014 were analyzed. The scans of the central cornea focused on the nerves at the subbasal epithelial layer were evaluated by two independent observers. Seventeen normal eyes of 13 patients served as control. Total SBN and long nerve density (≥ 200 µm) were quantified. Statistical analysis was performed using Wilcoxon rank-sum test and Kruskal-Wallis test.
The total SND and long nerve density in the overall LSCD groups were 50.2 ± 32.6 and 10.0 ± 10.7 nerves/cm2 which were statistically reduced (P < 0.0001) compared with 97.3 ± 29.9 and 35.3 ± 25.3 nerves/cm2, respectively in the control group. The percentages of SND reduction were 34.7% in early stage, 49.3% in intermediate stage, and 78.3% in late stage of LSCD, respectively, compared to the control group. The degrees of tortuosity of the nerve differed significantly among the early, intermediate, and late stage of LSCD patients. Total SND and long nerve density correlated with the severity of LSCD.
Total SND and long nerve density could be used as one of the quantifiable parameters to measure the degree of LSCD.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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