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Joel M. Miller, Joseph L. Demer, Vadims Poukens, Dmitri S. Pavlovski, Hien N. Nguyen, Ethan A. Rossi; Extraocular connective tissue architecture. Journal of Vision 2003;3(3):5. doi: 10.1167/3.3.5.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Extraocular muscle pulleys, now well known to be kinematically significant extraocular structures, have been noted in passing and described in fragments several times over the past two centuries. They were late to be fully appreciated because biomechanical modeling of the orbit was not available to derive their kinematic consequences, and because pulleys are distributed condensations of collagen, elastin and smooth muscle (SM) that are not sharply delineated. Might other mechanically significant distributed extraocular structures still be awaiting description? p]An imaging approach is useful for describing distributed structures, but does not seem suitable for assessing mechanical properties. However, an image that distinguished types and densities of constituent tissues could give strong hints about mechanical properties. Thus, we have developed methods for producing three dimensional (3D) images of extraocular tissues based on thin histochemically processed slices, which distinguish collagen, elastin, striated muscle and SM. Overall tissue distortions caused by embedding for sectioning, and individual-slice distortions caused by thin sectioning and subsequent histologic processing were corrected by ordered image warping with intrinsic fiducials.
We describe an extraocular structure, partly included in Lockwood’s ligament, which contains dense elastin and SM bands, and which might refine horizontal eye alignment as a function of vertical gaze, and torsion in down-gaze. This active structure might therefore be a factor in strabismus and a target of therapeutic intervention.
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