2020–2021 BCSC Basic and Clinical Science Course™
2 Fundamentals and Principles of Ophthalmology
Part IV: Biochemistry and Metabolism
Chapter 8: Cornea
Descemet Membrane and Endothelium
The Descemet membrane is a specialized basement membrane, 10–12 μm thick, between the corneal endothelium and the posterior stroma. It is secreted by endothelium and comprises an anterior banded layer and a posterior nonbanded layer. The latter is secreted throughout life, which is the reason why the Descemet membrane is 3–4 times thicker in adulthood than at birth (Fig 8-5). Type IV is the most abundant collagen in the Descemet membrane. It has been hypothesized that the posterior-most 15 μm of stroma may represent a distinct, tough acellular layer (Dua layer).
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 2 - Fundamentals and Principles of Ophthalmology. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.