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Eye, Cornea - Necrosis

Image of cornea necrosis in the eye from a female F344/N rat in a chronic study
Eye, Cornea - Necrosis in a female F344/N rat from a chronic study. There are shrunken, hypereosinophilic, necrotic cells (arrows) and corneal epithelial hyperplasia.
Figure 1 of 2
Image of cornea necrosis in the eye from a female F344/N rat in a chronic study
Eye, Cornea - Necrosis in a female F344/N rat from a chronic study (higher magnification of Figure 1). Shrunken, hypereosinophilic, necrotic cells (arrows) are present in the hyperplastic corneal epithelium.
Figure 2 of 2
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Necrosis of corneal epithelial cells is characterized by shrunken, hypereosinophilic necrotic cells (suggestive of single-cell necrosis) are scattered through the epithelium ( Figure 1image opens in a pop-up window and Figure 2image opens in a pop-up window ). The cells may also appear to have lost their attachments to adjacent cells. Epithelial necrosis can progress to erosion and ulceration. Other corneal cell types (e.g., corneal endothelial cells and stromal keratocytes) can also undergo necrosis. Corneal epithelial necrosis may be accompanied by epithelial hyperplasia or inflammation.


Corneal necrosis should be diagnosed whenever present and assigned a severity grade. The subtopography of corneal necrosis (epithelium, endothelium, stroma) can be described in the pathology narrative. Associated lesions (e.g., inflammation) should be diagnosed separately.


Maurer JK, Parker RD, Carr GJ. 1998. Ocular irritation: Microscopic changes occurring over time in the rat with surfactants of known irritancy. Toxicol Pathol 26:217-225.
Abstract: http://tpx.sagepub.com/content/26/2/217.short

Newkirk KM, Chandler HL, Parent AE, Young DC, Colitz CMH, Wilkie DA, Kusewitt DF. 2007. Ultraviolet radiation-induced corneal degeneration in 129 mice. Toxicol Pathol 35:817-824.
Full Text: http://tpx.sagepub.com/content/35/6/817.full

National Toxicology Program. 2004. NTP TR-515. Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of Propylene Glycol Mono-t-butyl Ether (CAS No. 57018-52-7) in F344/N Rats and B6C3F1 Mice and a Toxicology Study of Propylene Glycol Mono-t-butyl Ether In Male NBR Rats (Inhalation Studies). NTP, Research Triangle Park, NC.
Abstract: https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/7724

West-Mays JA. 2006. The keratocyte: Corneal stromal cell with variable repair phenotypes. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 38:1625-1631.
Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2505273/