Stereological Quantification of Extraocular Muscles in Humans

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

San Martín, J.; Luna, C.; Garretón, R.; Araneda, S.; Salgado, C.; Rodríguez, A. & Salgado, G.


The aim of this study is to quantify muscular and connective tissue volumes of extraocular muscles (EOM) in humans with no ophthalmological disease using stereology. EOM from five cadaveric non-strabismic humans were obtained. The number of muscle fibers in 5,000 μm2 and volume density (Vv) of muscle and collagen were measured using stereology. Comparisons between antagonist EOM were conducted using Wilcoxon signed rank test for paired samples. A secondary analysis examining differences between pairs of EOM was also conducted. Bilateral tests were performed, and significance was set at 0.05. The horizontal rectus muscles (medial and lateral rectus) had the highest Vv of muscle and the lowest Vv of collagen. The inferior rectus muscle tended to have a fewer number of fibers per 5,000 μm2 than the rest of the EOM. However, these differences did not reach statistical significance. This is the first published study describing the normal histology of human EOM using stereology. Our investigation, through the quantification of the proportion of muscle and collagen tissue, as well as the number of muscle fibers in 5,000 μ2, establishes normal stereological parameters for EOM of humans without ophthalmological disease.

KEY WORDS: Oculomotor muscles; Humans; Histology; Anatomy.

How to cite this article

SAN MARTÍN, J.; LUNA, C.; GARRETÓN, R.; ARANEDA , S.; SALGADO, C.; RODRÍGUEZ, A. & SALGADO, G. Stereological quantification of extraocular muscles in humans. Int. J. Morphol., 39(2):506-511, 2021.