Development of Feasible Methods to Image the Eyelid Margin

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Development of Feasible Methods to Image the Eyelid Margin

To develop a feasible method to image eyelid margin structures using in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) for use in clinical research. Second, to assess the association between IVCM and meibography images.

IVCM was performed on the central upper eyelid margin of 13 healthy participants (31 ± 5 years). Overall morphology montages (1600 × 1600 μm) were created of 3 participants. Single frames (400 × 400 μm) of 10 participants were imaged to determine the feasibility of measuring eyelid features. Meibography was performed with EASYTEARview+ in the same 10 participants. ImageJ software was used to quantify image structures.

In the montages, structures of rete ridges, meibomian gland openings, and the lid wiper region were observed. The maximum possible montage size, using multiple single frames, was approximately 5200 × 1500 × 150 μm in the X, Y, and Z directions, respectively. The mean number, density, area, perimeter, and shortest and longest diameters of rete ridges of the 9 nonoverlapped frames were 12 ± 2/frame, 73 ± 5/mm2, 2504 ± 403 μm2, 250 ± 33 μm, 40 ± 6 μm, and 84 ± 13 μm, respectively. Sampling analysis determined at least 5 nonoverlapped frames were necessary to accurately represent the parameters of the ridges. The mean areas of 3 meibomian openings were 785 ± 784 μm2, 1036 ± 963 μm2, 950 ± 1071 μm2, 848 ± 954 μm2, 737 ± 831 μm2, 735 ± 743 μm2, and from 30 μm to 130 μm at 20-μm depth intervals, respectively. No significant association between IVCM and meibography parameters (P = 0.53) was found.

Imaging rete ridges with IVCM should include at least 5 nonoverlapping single frames in the upper eyelid margin. At least 3 openings imaged between 30 and 130 μm at 20-μm depth intervals are recommended to determine the opening area.

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