Anatomical variation of human collector channel orifices

Michael D. Bentley, Cheryl R. Hann, Michael P. Fautsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To examine the anatomical variation of normal human collector channel orifices and their relationship with Schlemm’s canal. METHODS. Ten human anterior segments fixed by immersion or perfusion were dissected radially and further divided by fine dissection into corresponding inner and outer wall segments. The tissues were dehydrated, critical-point dried, sputter coated, and examined by scanning electron microscopy. Images were obtained at magnifications from 3200 to 310,000. Selected radial collector channel regions were processed for plastic embedding. RESULTS. Two classes of collector channel orifices were identified. Simple oval orifices (54.7 6 4.6-lm diameter) were lined with endothelial cells and most often occurred on a planar region of Schlemm’s canal outer wall. Complex orifices (62.7 6 3.4-lm diameter) were often found associated with septal columns and bridges, and typically covered with flap-like structures (10-40 lm) that extended between the inner and outer wall and over the collector channel orifices. Both simple and complex orifices had complete or partial lip-like rims. In orifices with partial rims, a trough-like groove was often visible on the outer wall surface opposite the lip. Transected septa and inner and outer wall adhesion sites were often found in association with complex collector channel orifices. CONCLUSIONS. Collector channel orifice structure varied from simple ovals to complex tethered flaps and bridges. Collector channel orifices with complex flaps connect the inner and outer walls of Schlemm’s canal, and may serve to enhance and regulate aqueous outflow in these regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1153-1159
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Aqueous humor dynamics
  • Collector channel
  • Conventional outflow pathway
  • Schlemm’s canal
  • Trabecular meshwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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