Three-dimensional reconstruction of aqueous channels in human trabecular meshwork using light microscopy and confocal microscopy

Jon J. Camp, Cheryl R. Hann, Douglas H. Johnson, James E. Tarara, Richard A. Robb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Conventional two-dimensional imaging of the trabecular meshwork (TM) provides limited information about the size, shape, and interconnection of the aqueous channels within the meshwork. Understanding the three-dimensional (3-D) relationships of the channels within this tissue may give insight into its normal function and possible changes present in the eye disease glaucoma. The purpose of our study was to compare laser scanning confocal microscopy with standard 1 μm Araldite-embedded histologic sections for 3-D analysis of the trabecular meshwork. In addition, the study was done to determine whether computerized 3-D reconstruction could isolate the fluid spaces of the trabecular meshwork and determine the size of interconnections between the fluid spaces. Confocal microscopy appears comparable to 1 μm Araldite- embedded tissue sections has the advantage of inherent registration of the serial tissue sections. Three-dimensional reconstruction allowed the isolation of the fluid spaces within the trabecular meshwork and revealed the presence of numerous interconnections between larger fluid spaces. The distribution of these interconnections was randomly arranged, with no predilection for specific regions within the trabecular meshwork. This distribution of constrictions and 'expansion chambers' may provide a clue to the mechanism by which subtle histologic changes are associated with increased ocular pressure in glaucoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1997


  • 3-D reconstruction
  • Laser scanning confocal microscopy
  • Light microscopy
  • Trabecular meshwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation


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