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    This article presents the results of confocal microscopy of the corneal nerve fibers (CNF). The transparency of the cornea provides a unique potential for in vivo visualization of thin unmyelinated nerve fibers at the level close to morphological study. Modern software eliminates the need for manual tracing of the confocal image fragments, allows objectifying the process of assessment of CNF structure based on quantitative indicators characterizing the length, density and tortuosity of the main nerve trunks. Clinical application of structural analysis of the CNF has two potential directions associated with immediate tasks of ophthalmology, as well as with interdisciplinary affairs. In terms of ophthalmology, this primarily concerns various surgical interventions potentially affecting the state of the cornea, and chronic pathological processes in the cornea of different nature. Such studies could analyze the degree of changes in the CNF, or the particularities of corneal reinnervation. The potential for interdisciplinary studies lies in using CNF as biomarkers of systemic polyneuropathies. Relative simplicity, high level of direct visualization of the thin nerve fibers, and the obtained results allow recommending corneal confocal microscopy as a tool for primary screening and consequent monitoring of neuropathies in addition to the conventional methods.


    S E Avetisov, Z V Surnina. Confocal microscopy of the corneal nerve fibers]. Vestnik oftalmologii. 2023;139(3. Vyp. 2):38-45

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    PMID: 37144367

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