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In vivo confocal microscopic corneal images in health and disease with an emphasis on extracting features and visual signatures for corneal diseases: a review study
  1. Rania Alzubaidi1,
  2. Mhd Saeed Sharif1,
  3. Rami Qahwaji1,
  4. Stanley Ipson1,
  5. Arun Brahma2
  1. 1School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK
  2. 2Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Rania Alzubaidi, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Bradford, Richmond Road, Bradford BD7 1DP, UK; raniaalzubaidi{at}; r.alzubaidi{at}


There is an evolution in the demands of modern ophthalmology from descriptive findings to assessment of cellular-level changes by using in vivo confocal microscopy. Confocal microscopy, by producing greyscale images, enables a microstructural insight into the in vivo cornea in both health and disease, including epithelial changes, stromal degenerative or dystrophic diseases, endothelial pathologies and corneal deposits and infections. Ophthalmologists use acquired confocal corneal images to identify health and disease states and then to diagnose which type of disease is affecting the cornea. This paper presents the main features of the healthy confocal corneal layers and reviews the most common corneal diseases. It identifies the visual signatures of each disease in the affected layer and extracts the main features of this disease in terms of intensity, certain regular shapes with both their size and diffusion, and some specific region of interest. These features will lead towards the development of a complete automatic corneal diagnostic system that predicts abnormalities in the confocal corneal data sets.

  • Cornea
  • Imaging

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