The purpose of the study was to examine the correlation between outflow facility and morphometric measurements of Schlemm's canal (SC) in normal and glaucomatous human eyes. Outflow facility was measured in ten normal and five glaucomatous (POAG) human eyes prior to perfusion-fixation at a pressure of 15 mmHg. Two separate sections per quadrant (eight sections per eye) were analysed using a morphometric analysis system. SC cross sectional area, perimeter, and inner wall length were measured. Inner wall endothelial nuclei were counted. When pooled data were examined, a statistically significant correlation was found between facility and SC area (P < or = 0.01). Most importantly, POAG eyes had a significantly smaller SC cross-sectional area, SC perimeter and SC inner wall length compared to normal eyes. If examined as a reduction in SC filtering area, this decrease in SC inner wall length alone could account for approximately 41-55% of the difference in outflow facility observed between normal and POAG eyes. The dimensions of Schlemm's canal in glaucomatous human eyes were significantly smaller than those in normal eyes. This reduction in SC dimensions may account for approximately half of the decrease in outflow facility observed in POAG eyes.