Sampling trabecular meshwork using TrabEx.

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To report sampling of the trabecular meshwork using the TrabEx+ (MicroSurgical Technology, Redmond, Washington, USA) device in ab interno trabeculectomy. Specifically, this series focusses upon preservation of the trabecular meshwork architecture for assessment of glaucomatous features using common histopathological techniques.This series features six glaucomatous eyes undergoing TrabEx+ with or without cataract surgery. Three patients had primary open angle glaucoma and the remaining had pigment dispersion glaucoma, ocular hypertension or uveitic glaucoma. Four eyes had simultaneous cataract surgery.Trabecular meshwork was excised using the TrabEx+ device and retrieved using vitreoretinal forceps. The samples were then processed into formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded 4 micron tissue segments and stained with haematoxylin and eosin, periodic acid-Schiff and elastin Van Gieson. Collagen IV was labelled using immunohistochemistry for the purpose of identifying the basement membrane of trabecular beams.Presence of trabecular meshwork was confirmed in five of the six samples taken. One of six samples consisted of blood only, but this was expected following early termination of the procedure due to patient restlessness. In the five positive cases trabecular beams with associated trabecular meshwork cells were identified on hematoxylin-eosin and periodic acid-Schiff staining. The beams retained their lamellar structure. The basement membrane underlying the trabecular cells was evident in three specimens, whilst two specimens were of insufficient size for collagen IV labelling.This case series illustrates that TrabEx+ can be utilised to successfully retrieve trabecular meshwork samples with sufficient architectural perseveration of the tissue to enable histopathological and laboratory analysis.

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Authors: Vipul Ramjiani, Hardeep-Singh Mudhar, Thomas Julian, Graham Auger