Differentiating squamous cells from melanocytes using confocal microscopy

D. R. Pfister, J. H. Krachmer, J. D. Cameron, D. J. Doughman, E. J. Holland

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Purpose. To describe patients in which Tandem Scanning Confocal Microscopy (TSCM) was used to both augment clinical examinations of the cornea and limbus by providing in vivo histologic-like images correlating well with the conventional histopathology and show differences in squamous cells and melanocytes. Methods. Patients with clinical diagnoses including an intraocular epithelial inclusion cyst, limbal melanoma, and corneal intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) underwent pre-operative diagnostic TSCM to provide images which were correlated to histology specimens. Results. In each case, the diagnosis was determined or highly suggested by TSCM and correlated well with the histopathology specimens. Epithelial cells were identified both on the surface of the intraocular inclusion cyst and in the CIN lesion, and cells consistant with melanoma were identified in the case of the limbal melanoma. Conclusions. In vivo TSCM can augment clinical examinations and aid in surgical planning by providing accurate details of the histopathology involved prior to biopsy, and can differentiate between squamous cells and melanocytes. Indeed in cases involving more benign diagnoses, it may be possible to avoid corneal or conjunctival biopsy by the use of TSCM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 1996


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