The maculas of a series rhesus monkeys' eyes were exposed to the light of an indirect ophthlamoscope at normal body temperature and at hypothermia. Significant changes were produced in the first week, but a distinct maculopathy became evident only after an extended follow-up of five months. This maculopathy was studied by serial fundus photography and by histopathologic and electron microscopic examination. Three stages characterized the development of the macular changes: (1) the initial degeneration in the first week; (2) the macrophagic response to progressive degeneration between the first week and the first month; and (3) the repair and regeneration between the first and fifth month. In the reparative phase, raised, scar-like lesions, observed ophthalmoscopically, had developed from the proliferation of retinal pigment epithelium. Despite depigmentation and proliferation of the retinal pigment epithelium, the photoreceptor elements over these areas had regenerated. This experimental maculopathy provides a useful model with which to study macular response to a wide variety of injuries.
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