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Evaluation of corneal neovascularisation
  1. Lana A Faraj1,
  2. Dalia G Said2,
  3. Harminder S Dua1,2
  1. 1Division of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, The University of Nottingham, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology, Nottingham University Hospital, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Harminder S Dua, Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital, Division of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, B Floor, Eye ENT Centre, University Hospital, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK; harminder.dua{at}

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In clinical parlance, the terms ‘corneal angiogenesis’, ‘corneal vascularisation’ and ‘corneal neovascularisation’ are used interchangeably. While the term ‘vasculogenesis’ is used to describe the formation and development of blood vessels in the embryo, angiogenesis refers to blood vessel formation under physiological (endometrium, placenta) or pathological (wound healing, tumours) conditions.

The acronym CNV is now established as representing ‘choroidal new vessels’ and should not be used for ‘corneal new vessels’ to avoid confusion in the literature. Hence, it is proposed that the term CVas be used to denote ‘corneal vascularisation’. CVas is a sign of corneal disease processes and not a distinct clinical entity. A wide variety of insults, including infection, inflammation, ischaemia, degeneration, trauma and loss of the limbal stem cell barrier, can cause CVas. The published evidence suggest that although CVas can occasionally serve a beneficial role in the clearing of infections, wound healing and arresting stromal melts,1 its disadvantages are numerous and often lead to tissue scarring, oedema, lipid deposition and persistent inflammation that may significantly alter visual acuity.2 3 CVas may not only reduce visual acuity, but it also results in the loss of the immune privilege of the cornea, thereby worsening the prognosis of subsequent keratoplasty.4 A recent meta-analysis supported multiple previous reports that graft failure …

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  • Linked article 300638.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.