Macular Corneal Dystrophy Workup

Updated: May 02, 2018
  • Author: Anna M Edmiston, MD; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
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Workup

Procedures

Corneal biopsy, which is not clinically indicated in patients with macular corneal dystrophy (MCD), reveals deposits of glycosaminoglycans, which stain with Alcian blue and colloidal iron.

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Histologic Findings

Deposits in macular dystrophy are composed of glycosaminoglycans, which stain with Alcian blue and colloidal iron.

Light microscopy demonstrates glycosaminoglycan deposits within stromal keratocytes. Thickening of the Descemet membrane can be seen, in addition to guttata. [1]

Two types of macular dystrophy are noted based on the absence or presence of keratan sulfate within the corneal stroma. Corneas affected by macular corneal dystrophy type I lack keratan sulfate, whereas keratan sulfate is present in corneas of patients with macular corneal dystrophy type IA and II. [2]

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Imaging Studies

Anterior-segment optical coherence tomography (OCT) reveals stromal hyper-reflectivity in areas that correspond to the stromal opacities.

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