2000 Volume 77 Issue 5 Pages 155-160
Five human specimens of the lacrimal canaliculus and sac were examined by light and scanning electron microsopy. The superior and inferior lacrimal canaliculi are lined with stratified squamous epithelium that is nonkeratinized and non-mucin-producing. The common canaliculus is also lined with stratified squamous epithelium, but its lumen is much narrower than the lumen of the superior and inferior canaliculi. The common canaliculus opens into an ample space called the vestibule, where the epithelium changes to high pseudostratified columnar and then low pseudostratified columnar. The vestibule continues to the infundibulum of the lacrimal sac. The infundibulum is formed by several epithelial folds that radiate from the vestibular opening to the lacrimal sac. The vestibule and infundibulum are consistent transitional structures from the common canaliculus to the lacrimal sac. The connective tissue of the lamina propria from the common canaliculus to the lacrimal sac has two histological characteristics: numerous free cell aggregates (= lymphoid structure) and numerous venules and capillaries (= cavernous structure).