Patterns of pathologic response in the cornea

Surv Ophthalmol. Jan-Feb 1987;31(4):262-6. doi: 10.1016/0039-6257(87)90025-7.


The cornea, like most tissues, manifests only a limited number of responses to the wide variety of diseases and insults that assault it. To facilitate a systematic understanding of these responses, we have divided the cornea into four zones: the epithelium; the epithelial basement membrane, Bowman's layer and anterior stroma; the stroma; and the endothelium and Descemet's membrane. We describe six pathologic processes or responses in each zone: defects; fibrosis and vascularization; edema and cysts; inflammation and immune response; deposits; and proliferation. We illustrate this paradigm with a chart that contains examples of each pathologic process in each zone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Basement Membrane / pathology
  • Cornea / pathology
  • Corneal Diseases / immunology
  • Corneal Diseases / pathology*
  • Cysts / pathology
  • Descemet Membrane / pathology
  • Edema / pathology
  • Endothelium / pathology
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Keratitis / pathology