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May 1973

Endothelial Cells in Alkali-Burned Corneas: Ultrastructural Alterations

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Ophthalmology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York. Dr. Matsuda is now at Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1973;89(5):402-409. doi:10.1001/archopht.1973.01000040404010

Two types of alkali-burned corneas were prepared and studied by electron microscopy at various intervals. In small central burns, the endothelial cells degenerated and were replaced from the periphery. After a few days, fibroblast-like cells covered the Descemet membrane, which was not destroyed. These gradually reached the center of the burn and formed a cellular retrocorneal membrane with many collagenous fibers between them. A new endothelium and Descemet membrane formed on the posterior surface of the retrocorneal membrane. When the entire cornea was burned, all endothelial cells were destroyed. A few days later, fibroblasts, present in the angle tissue, produced a connective tissue retrocorneal membrane. This did not form a new endothelium or Descemet membrane. It is concluded that there are two sources of retrocorneal membranes, which result in dissimilar end results.

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