Comparison of human corneal cell density by age and corneal location: an in vivo confocal microscopy study
Zheng, T.; Le, Q.; Hong, J.; Xu, J.
Bmc Ophthalmology 16(9): 109
ISSN/ISBN: 1471-2415 PMID: 27422393 DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-210082
Peripheral and central regions of the cornea are optically different and have different repair capacity and pathology. For this reason, we characterized the cellular morphology and quantified the cell density of the central and peripheral regions of the cornea with age. Eighty healthy subjects were enrolled in the study and divided into four groups according to age: A (0-19 years), B (20-39 years), C (40-59 years), and D (>60 years). In vivo confocal microscopy was used to measure the following parameters for the central and peripheral regions of the cornea: average cellular density and area of the superficial and basal epithelium; average density of the anterior and posterior keratocytes; average endothelial cell density and cellular area; percentage of hexagonal endothelial cells. Statistically significant differences between the central and peripheral cornea were observed for the cellular density of basal epithelial cells in group A. The density of keratocytes in the anterior stroma was significantly greater in the central region compared with the peripheral region in group B and group C. The percentage of hexagonal cells in the endothelial layer was significantly greater in the central region compared with the peripheral region. Age-related changes were found in peripheral basal epithelial cell density, central and peripheral endothelial cell density, and the percentage of hexagonal endothelial cells. Both similarities and differences in morphology of the central and peripheral regions of the transparent cornea were observed. These observations would provide a histological basis for further studies to define its regional pathological mechanisms.