Automated digital image analysis of organ culture preserved donor corneas

Ophthalmic Res. 1993;25(2):94-9. doi: 10.1159/000267271.


The present study reports the application of a modified commercially available automated digital image analysis system (DIA) for the evaluation of organ culture preserved donor corneas. The central corneal endothelium was viewed and photographed under an inverted phase-contrast microscope. The images were then analyzed with the help of DIA. The results of DIA were compared to the findings obtained with a conventional 'fixed-frame analysis' for the same corneas. 100 human donor corneas have been evaluated. DIA, with interactive picture enhancement, was found to be practicable, and to yield reproducible results. The mean number of cells analyzed per photograph was 250 (range 95-395); this, on the average, was four times higher than with conventional fixed-frame analysis (mean 54, range 37-70). The correlation of the cell densities obtained with both methods was highly significant (p < 0.0001). Since additional information, like variation in cell size and shape (circularity form factor), was automatically computed by the program, more data on the homogeneity of the donor endothelial cell pattern were available. Furthermore, this computerized technique does not require an experienced investigator and thereby helps to eliminate bias.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Count
  • Endothelium, Corneal / anatomy & histology*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Tissue Preservation*