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Keywords:

  • corneal endothelium;
  • morphometry;
  • scanning electron microscopy;
  • Yacare caiman

Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine the endothelial surface morphology and to perform morphometric analysis of the corneal endothelial cells of Yacare caiman (Caiman yacare) using scanning electron microscopy. Morphometric analysis with regard to polygonality, mean cell area, cell density and coefficient of variation of mean cell area was performed. Cell areas were measured using image analysis software. The normal corneal endothelium of Yacare caiman consisted of polygonal cells of uniform size and shape with interdigitations of the cell borders. Microvilli appeared as protrusions on the cellular surface. The average cell area was 270 ± 24 µm2 and the endothelial cell density was 3704 ± 324 cells/mm2. The coefficient of variation of cell area was 0.22. This study demonstrates that the Yacare caiman corneal endothelium is similar to those described in other vertebrates.