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.
Matsuda H, Smelser GK. Endothelial Cells in Alkali-Burned Corneas: Ultrastructural Alterations. Arch Ophthalmol. 1973;89(5):402–409. doi:10.1001/archopht.1973.01000040404010
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: