The Journal of Scanning Microscopies


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April 5–7. Monterey, California, USA

SCANNING Vol. 19, 258–263 (1997)
© FAMS, Inc.
Received April 15, 1996
Accepted with revision June 18, 1996

Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of Aqueous Channels in Human Trabecular Meshwork Using Light Microscopy and Confocal Microscopy

Jon J. Camp, Cheryl R. Hann,* Douglas H. Johnson,* James E. Tarara, Richard A. Robb

Departments of Biomedical Imaging and *Ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

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Conventional two-dimensional imaging of the trabecular meshwork (TM) provides limited information about the size, shape, and interconnection of the aqueous channels within the meshwork. Understanding the three-dimensional (3-D) relationships of the channels within this tissue may give insight into its normal function and possible changes present in the eye disease glaucoma. The purpose of our study was to compare laser scanning confocal microscopy with standard 1 µm Araldite-embedded histologic sections for 3-D analysis of the trabecular meshwork. In addition, the study was done to determine whether computerized 3-D reconstruction could isolate the fluid spaces of the trabecular meshwork and determine the size of interconnections between the fluid spaces. Confocal microscopy appears comparable to 1 µm Araldite-embedded tissue sections and has the advantage of inherent registration of the serial tissue sections. Three-dimensional reconstruction allowed the isolation of the fluid spaces within the trabecular meshwork and revealed the presence of numerous interconnections between larger fluid spaces. The distribution of these interconnections was randomly arranged, with no predilection for specific regions within the trabecular meshwork. This distribution of constrictions and "expansion chambers" may provide a clue to the mechanism by which subtle histologic changes are associated with increased ocular pressure in glaucoma.

Key words: trabecular meshwork, 3-D reconstruction, light microscopy, laser scanning confocal microscopy

Supported in part by a grant from the American Health Assistance Foundation, National Glaucoma Research Grant, Rockville, Md., and the Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn.

Address for reprints:

Jon Camp
Department of Biomedical Imaging
Mayo Clinic Foundation
200 First Street SW
Rochester, MN 55905-0001, USA