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Original article
In vivo confocal microscopic findings in patients with limbal stem cell deficiency
  1. Ammar Miri1,2,
  2. Thaer Alomar1,
  3. Mario Nubile3,
  4. Muhamed Al-aqaba1,
  5. Manuela Lanzini3,
  6. Usama Fares1,
  7. Dalia G Said1,4,
  8. James Lowe5,
  9. Harminder Singh Dua1
  1. 1Division of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology, Aleppo University, Aleppo, Syria
  3. 3Department of Medicine and Ageing Sciences, Ophthalmology Clinic, University “G d'Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara, Italy
  4. 4Research Institute of Ophthalmology, Cairo, Egypt
  5. 5School of Molecular Medical Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Harminder S Dua, Division of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, B Floor, Eye ENT Centre, Queens Medical Centre, University Hospital, Derby Road, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK; harminder.dua{at}


Aim To describe in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) findings in patients with limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD).

Methods 23 eyes of 17 consecutive patients suffering from LSCD were included in this study. A detailed examination by IVCM was performed in addition to a routine slit-lamp biomicroscopy. Size and density of corneal epithelial and conjunctival epithelial cells on cornea were measured and statistically analysed using SPSS version 8.0 software. Results were compared with histology in select cases.

Results Anatomical and morphological differences were observed between normal corneal cells and conjunctival epithelial cells on cornea. Size and density differences reached statistically significant levels between the normal corneal cells and the conjunctival epithelial cells on cornea (p<0.01). Goblet cells were visible throughout the conjunctivalised corneal epithelium in eight eyes. Several IVCM features could be correlated with histology in six of our patients.

Conclusions A number of features were demonstrated by laser IVCM in patients presenting clinically with LSCD. Some of these features were corroborated with features observed on histological examination of tissue samples.

  • Limbal stem cell deficiency
  • confocal microscopy
  • cornea
  • inflammation
  • wound healing
  • imaging
  • diagnostic tests/investigation
  • treatment surgery
  • stem cells
  • degeneration
  • treatment surgery
  • medical education
  • eye (tissue) banking

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  • Linked article 300550.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Nottingham research ethics committee, No. 06/Q203/46.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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