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    OCT provides minute details of aqueous outflow pathways, motion

    Platform shows collector channels open, close with pressure changes

     

    Investigators used Amira 3D software (FEI) to look at the X, Y, and Z axes. The software allowed them to scan through the axes and tilt and turn on the axes to look at any plane. By so doing, Dr. Johnstone investigated the details of the various structures and identified the hinged flaps that are free to move because of hinges present on one end.

    What was especially noteworthy, he pointed out, was the presence of attachments between the hinged flaps and the trabecular meshwork.

    “If the trabecular meshwork moves, these connections cause the hinged flaps at the entrance to the collector channels to also move,” he said. “This was a consistent finding.”

    Investigators looked at the behavior of the various tissues at various pressure gradients of 0, 5, 10, 20, 30, and 50 mm Hg. At 0 mm Hg, the region of the collector channels and Schlemm’s canal was only a “potential space,” he said.

    With increases in pressure, Dr. Johnstone demonstrated that progressive increases in the dimensions of the tissues became visible. The area of the collector channels and Schlemm’s canal became very large with the higher pressures.

    Both OCT and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) clearly showed the series of tissue strands that connect the trabecular meshwork and the hinged flaps. He explained that with high magnification of the tissues, the aqueous pathway at the collector channel entrances is convoluted and constantly changing shape with changes in the pressure gradients.

    Marked symmetry

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