Pathological changes of the nasolacrimal duct in rabbit models of chronic dacryocystitis: correlation with lacrimal endoscopic findings

  • Rong Liu
  • Hongxun Li
  • Tao Ai
  • Weikun Hu
  • Ban Luo
  • Nan XiangEmail author
Basic Science



The aim of this study was to explore the pathological changes of the nasolacrimal duct in rabbits with experimentally induced obstructive dacryocystitis in correlation with lacrimal endoscopic findings.


The rabbit model of obstructive dacryocystitis was created by injecting 0.15 ml of self-curing resin into the lacrimal duct. The control group received 0.15 ml of normal saline. Within 16 weeks after the obstructive, lacrimal endoscopy and pathological examination of the nasolacrimal duct were conducted at different time points of 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 weeks.


In the control group, lacrimal endoscopy revealed pink and smooth mucosa; and the pathological analysis revealed an epithelial layer that was composed of superficial columnar cells and a deep basal epithelial layer. The experimental rabbits showed clinical manifestations of obstructive dacryocystitis a week after the injection of self-curing resin. At weeks 1 and 2, the lacrimal endoscopy showed mucosal hyperemia and hemorrhagic spots on the nasolacrimal duct; and the pathological features included epithelial cell swelling and inflammatory cell infiltration. At weeks 4 and 8, the experimental group showed alternatively red and white mucosa under the lacrimal endoscopy, and the pathological features included proliferative epithelium accompanied by papillary hyperplasia. At week 16, the experimental group showed pale and coarse mucosa and white membrane-like layer covering the mucosal surface, and the pathological features included epithelial necrosis, squamous metaplasia, and sub-epithelial fibrosis.


The mucosa of the nasolacrimal duct showed different pathological features at different time points after lacrimal duct obstruction, which was well correlated with the endoscopic findings. It is possible to predict the pathological stages by the endoscopic observation in NLOD patients.


Nasolacrimal duct obstruction Pathology Lacrimal endoscopy Rabbit model 



This research was supported by the projects from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81501552). The sponsor had no role in the design or conduct of this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution of Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) at which the studies were conducted.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of Ophthalmology, Tianjin Eye Hospital, Clinical College of OphthalmologyTianjin Medical UniversityTianjinChina
  3. 3.Department of Radiology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina

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