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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 11  |  Page : 1120-1126

Diagnosis of limbal stem cell deficiency based on corneal epithelial thickness measured on anterior segment optical coherence tomography

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Hospital Hari Nagar, New Delhi, India
2 DDU Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Mahesh Chandra Agarwal
DDU Hospital, Hari Nagar, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_218_17

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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the epithelial thickness in the cornea and limbus in limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) using anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT). Methods: This was a cross-sectional, comparative study. OCT images of 30 eyes of 19 patients with LSCD collected by AS-OCT were scanned. Corneal epithelial thickness was recorded at the central cornea and the superior, nasal, inferior, and temporal limbus. Measurment of the same region of 30 normal eyes served as control. Epithelial thickness in all locations was measured by 2 independent observers. Results: The mean epithelial layer thickness was 61.3 ± 2.9 μ in the central cornea and 62.7 ± 4.3 μ in the limbus in the control. The epithelial thickness in LSCD patients was found to be 41.33 ± 2.8 μ. An average reduction of 22.2% in the central cornea and 32.15% in the limbus was found in patients with LSCD (P < 0.05). Epithelial thinning correlated with the severity of LSCD in both cornea and limbus. In eyes with sectoral LSCD, a similar degree of epithelial thinning was also detected in the clinically unaffected limbal regions. Conclusion: Both corneal and limbal epithelia become progressively thinner in LSCD. Epithelial thickness assessment using AS-OCT as a noninvasive tool could be used as a diagnostic measure of LSCD.

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