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R R Allingham, A W de Kater, C R Ethier, P J Anderson, E Hertzmark, D L Epstein; The relationship between pore density and outflow facility in human eyes.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1992;33(5):1661-1669.
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The inner wall (IW) endothelial lining of Schlemm's canal was examined in six normal human eyes and four eyes with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). Outflow facility was measured using constant pressure perfusion at 15 mmHg, eyes were fixed at 15 mmHg, and the IW endothelial lining was isolated and examined by scanning electron microscopy. Pore density, pore diameter, and bulge density were recorded by quadrant, and pore size and density were used to estimate IW endothelial facility, resistance, and hydraulic conductivity (facility per unit area). In POAG eyes, pores were less common (489 +/- 172 vs 1437 +/- 423 pores/mm2; P less than .005) and appeared to be more unevenly distributed than in normal eyes. A regional analysis of pore density (by quadrant) failed to detect a significant difference between quadrants of normal or POAG eyes. Pore density was correlated with measured outflow facility in normal eyes alone (P less than .02) and when normal eyes were pooled with POAG eyes (P less than .001). The percentage of total resistance attributed to the IW endothelium was 5.8% in normals compared to 9.5% in POAG eyes. This indicates there is a greater pressure drop across the IW endothelium in POAG eyes, suggesting that an intrinsic difference in IW endothelial function exists between normal and glaucomatous eyes. However, this difference alone does not account for the decreased outflow facility in POAG eyes. IW endothelial hydraulic conductivity is markedly higher than that of other vascular endothelia. We hypothesize that this may protect the IW endothelial lining of Schlemm's canal from mechanical stress induced by the relatively high rate of transcellular fluid flow.
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