Characterization of fibrous retrocorneal membrane by confocal microscopy

Cornea. 1998 Nov;17(6):669-71. doi: 10.1097/00003226-199811000-00016.


Purpose: To study the appearance of a fibrous retrocorneal membrane as seen by confocal microscopy.

Methods: A 67-year-old white woman with a history of multiple ocular surgeries, including repeated penetrating keratoplasties for aphakic bullous keratopathy, developed a retrocorneal membrane in the right eye. The membrane was first noticed 3 years after the last corneal transplant and remained stable subsequently. The patient was examined by in vivo white light tandem-scanning confocal microscopy.

Results: At the level of the retrocorneal membrane, confocal microscopy disclosed the presence of a hyperreflective fibrous-appearing layer. Normal endothelial cells could not be found. Anterior to the hyperreflective layer, activated keratocytes were identified.

Conclusion: Confocal microscopy may allow noninvasive diagnosis of fibrous retrocorneal membrane. Additionally, our data suggest that the posterior keratocytes might play a role in the production and deposition of fibrous tissue.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cornea / pathology*
  • Corneal Diseases / etiology
  • Corneal Diseases / pathology*
  • Corneal Diseases / surgery
  • Female
  • Fibrosis / etiology
  • Fibrosis / pathology
  • Fibrosis / surgery
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating
  • Membranes / pathology
  • Microscopy, Confocal*
  • Reoperation
  • Visual Acuity