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Corneal Confocal Microscopy Demonstrates Corneal Nerve Loss in Patients With Trigeminal Neuralgia

Corneal Confocal Microscopy Demonstrates Corneal Nerve Loss in Patients With Trigeminal Neuralgia

Frontiers in Neurology 11: 661

ISSN/ISBN: 1664-2295

PMID: 32793098

DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2020.00661

Background: The diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is challenging due to the lack of objective diagnostics. Corneal confocal microscopy (CCM) is a non-invasive ophthalmic imaging technique, which allows quantification of corneal nerve fibers arising from the trigeminal ganglion and may allow the assessment of neurodegeneration in TN. Methods: CCM was undertaken in 11 patients with TN and 11 age-matched healthy controls. Corneal nerve fiber density (CNFD), corneal nerve branch density, corneal nerve fiber length (CNFL), corneal nerve fiber width, corneal nerve fiber area, and dendritic cell and non-dendritic cell density with or without nerve fiber contact were quantified. Results: Patients with TN had significantly lower CNFD and CNFL but no difference for any other corneal nerve or dendritic cell parameter in the ipsilateral and the contralateral cornea compared to the control group. There was no significant difference in corneal nerve and cell parameters between patients with TN with and without involvement of the ophthalmic nerve (V1) or with nerve vessel conflict. Conclusion: Corneal confocal microscopy is a rapid non-invasive imaging technique that identifies symmetrical corneal nerve loss in patients with TN.

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Accession: 071514117

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