Scientific article

Corneal nerves alterations in various types of systemic polyneuropathy, identified by in vivo confocal microscopy

Published inKlinische Monatsblätter für Augenheilkunde, vol. 225, no. 5, p. 413-417
Publication date2008

BACKGROUND: In vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) is a newly developed application to assess corneal nerve morphology. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the role of IVCM in the assessment of various types of polyneuropathy, and to define alterations of corneal nerves in such conditions. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Eighteen patients with various types of polyneuropathy were characterized by clinical neurological and ophthalmic examinations, as well as by electroneuromyography (ENMG). Full thickness IVCM of corneal nerves was carried out on all patients and 15 age-matched eyes using Heidelberg Retina Tomograph II (HRT II). The subbasal nerve plexus were statistically analysed regarding long nerve fiber density, nerve branch density, nerve thickness, nerve bead number and nerve tortuosity. RESULTS: In subbasal nerve plexus, the following three parameters were significantly reduced in patients with polyneuropathy compared to controls: long nerve fibre density (p < 0.01), nerve branch density (p < 0.001), and nerve bead number (p = 0.001). In addition, the average grade of nerve tortuosity was 2.87 +/- 0.97 in the polyneuropathic group and 1.17 +/- 0.68 in the control group (p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: IVCM allows a non-invasive, in vivo study of corneal nerves with high resolution. It therefore appears invaluable in clinical investigations. IVCM appears to be valuable in a large variety of polyneuropathic conditions.

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cornea/innervation/pathology
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases/pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement/methods
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Confocal/methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyneuropathies/pathology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
Citation (ISO format)
ZHAO, C. et al. Corneal nerves alterations in various types of systemic polyneuropathy, identified by in vivo confocal microscopy. In: Klinische Monatsblätter für Augenheilkunde, 2008, vol. 225, n° 5, p. 413–417. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1027259
ISSN of the journal0023-2165

Technical informations

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