PURPOSE. This study explored the efficacy of optical coherence tomography (OCT) as a high-resolution, noncontact method for imaging the palisades of Vogt by correlating OCT and confocal microscopy images. METHODS. Human limbal rims were acquired and imaged with OCT and confocal microscopy. The area of the epithelial basement membrane in each of these sets was digitally reconstructed, and the models were compared. RESULTS. OCT identified the palisades within the limbus and exhibited excellent structural correlation with immunostained tissue imaged by confocal microscopy. CONCLUSIONS. OCT successfully identified the limbal palisades of Vogt that constitute the corneal epithelial stem cell niche. These findings offer the exciting potential to characterize the architecture of the palisades in vivo, to harvest stem cells for transplantation more accurately, to track palisade structure for better diagnosis, follow-up and staging of treatment, and to assess and intervene in the progression of stem cell depletion by monitoring changes in the structure of the palisades.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience