[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) is a newly developed application to assess corneal nerve morphology. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the role of IVCM in the assessment of various types of polyneuropathy, and to define alterations of corneal nerves in such conditions.
Eighteen patients with various types of polyneuropathy were characterized by clinical neurological and ophthalmic examinations, as well as by electroneuromyography (ENMG). Full thickness IVCM of corneal nerves was carried out on all patients and 15 age-matched eyes using Heidelberg Retina Tomograph II (HRT II). The subbasal nerve plexus were statistically analysed regarding long nerve fiber density, nerve branch density, nerve thickness, nerve bead number and nerve tortuosity.
In subbasal nerve plexus, the following three parameters were significantly reduced in patients with polyneuropathy compared to controls: long nerve fibre density (p < 0.01), nerve branch density (p < 0.001), and nerve bead number (p = 0.001). In addition, the average grade of nerve tortuosity was 2.87 +/- 0.97 in the polyneuropathic group and 1.17 +/- 0.68 in the control group (p < 0.0001).
IVCM allows a non-invasive, in vivo study of corneal nerves with high resolution. It therefore appears invaluable in clinical investigations. IVCM appears to be valuable in a large variety of polyneuropathic conditions.
Klinische Monatsblätter für Augenheilkunde 05/2008; 225(5):413-7. · 0.70 Impact Factor