OBJECTIVES: 1) To elucidate the role of collector channels in the aqueous humor outflow pathway 2) To suggest anatomic and functional methods of imaging collector channels in-vitro and in-vivo and 3) To discuss the role of such imaging modalities in the surgical management of glaucoma. METHODS: A thorough literature search was conducted on databases for studies published in English regarding the available methods to determine the role of collecting channels in normal and glaucomatous patients and to assess their patency. RESULTS: Intraocular pressure (IOP) exists as a balance between aqueous humor production and aqueous humor outflow. Collector channels are an essential anatomical constituent of the distal portion of the conventional aqueous humor outflow pathway. There are different surgical options for glaucoma management and with the recent advances in Schlemm's canal-based surgeries, collector channel's patency became a key factor in determining the optimum management for the glaucomatous eye. The advent of anatomic imaging methods has improved the ability to visualize collector channel morphology in-vitro, including swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT), spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), micro-computed tomography (micro CT), new immunohistochemistry techniques and scanning electron microscopy. The recent advent of real-time assessment of collector channel patency (including evaluation of episcleral venous outflow, observation of episcleral venous fluid wave, and tracer studies utilizing fluorescein, indocyanine green, and trypan blue) has been validated by the aforementioned anatomic imaging modalities. CONCLUSIONS: New modalities of in-vitro and in-vivo studies of collector channels provide promise to aid in the assessment of collector channel patency and individualization of surgical management for glaucoma patients.