Clinical specular microscopy. II. Qualitative evaluation of corneal endothelial photomicrographs

Arch Ophthalmol. 1979 Sep;97(9):1720-5. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1979.01020020288022.


The clinical specular microscope shows the morphological appearance of the endothelium in normal and abnormal corneas. This instrument resolves the endothelial mosaic of the normal cornea into a quasiregular pattern of contiguous cells having well-defined cell boundaries. Cell size varies over a wide range in a number of disorders, and endothelial cells may assume shapes that are substantially different from their usual hexagonal appearance. Cell boundaries are dark and most commonly appear as a straight, narrow line. However, other types of cell boundaries, collectively referred to as doubled boundaries, have been encountered. Cell boundaries normally intersect in a manner that results in three angles of intersection, each approximately 60 degrees, but variations from this pattern are seen. A number of noncellular structures also can be seen in the endothelial zone.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cornea / cytology*
  • Endothelium / cytology
  • Humans
  • Ophthalmology / instrumentation*
  • Photomicrography / instrumentation*