Clinical specular microscopy

L. W. Hirst, F. L. Ferris, W. J. Stark, J. A. Fleishman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The foregoing technical and methodologic problems associated with clinical use of the specular microscope demonstrate the need for basic work in standardization, reproducibility, documentation, and interpretation of endothelial cell measurements. Since random samples may be difficult to obtain, efforts are being made to document the effect of the sampling techniques now being used in clinical specular microscopy. With the advent of instruments capable of photographing larger fields of endothelial cells and more-peripheral endothelium, the reliable application of morphometry may become possible. This shift of emphasis from cell density measurements to cell area profiles recognizes the importance of the pleomorphism of endothelial cell states after trauma. Finally, direct comparisons of endothelial population parameters measured by histologic and specular microscopy techniques on the same cornea are of basic importance in validating the technique. The most difficult and elusive problem that then remains is the clarification of the relation between endothelial cell morphology and function. The solution of these problems will make the specular microscope an indispensable tool in clinical ophthalmology. Meanwhile, application of findings from specular microscopy to clinical practice must be made with great care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-4
Number of pages3
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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