Iris plays important roles in ocular physiology and disease pathogenesis. Currently it is technically challenging to noninvasively examine the human iris ultrastructure in vivo. The purpose of the current study is to reveal human iris ultrastructure in patients with synechiae by using noninvasive in vivo laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM).
The ultrastructure of iris in thirty one patients, each with synechiae but transparent cornea, was examined by in vivo LSCM.
Five characteristic iris ultrastructures was revealed in patients with synechiae by in vivo LSCM, which include: 1. tree trunk-like structure; 2. tree branch/bush-like structure; 3. Fruit-like structure; 4. Epithelioid-like structure; 5. deep structure. Pigment granules can be observed as a loose structure on the top of the arborization structure. In iris-associated diseases with Tyndall’s Phenomenon and keratic precipitates, the pigment particles are more likely to fall off from the arborization structure.
The ultrastructure of iris in patients with synechiae has been visualized using in vivo LSCM. Five iris ultrastructures can be clearly observed, with some of the structures maybe disease-associated. The fall-off of the pigment particles may cause the Tyndall’s Phenomenon positive. In vivo LSCM provides a non-invasive approach to observe the human iris ultrastructure under certain eye disease conditions, which sets up a foundation to visualize certain iris-associated diseases in the future.