Quantifying changes in RPE and choroidal vasculature in eyes with age-related macular degeneration

D. Scott McLeod, Makoto Taomoto, Tsuyoshi Otsuji, W. Richard Green, Janet S. Sunness, Gerard Anthony Lutty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

PURPOSE. An image-analysis technique was developed to quantify changes in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and choriocapillaris in eyes of deceased donors with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS. Both eyes of two donors with AMD and of one normal control donor were used to develop this technique. After removal of the anterior segments, the eyecups were hemisected through the macula, with the disc included in one half of the eyecup. The choroid with RPE cells was dissected from the sclera and incubated for alkaline phosphatase (APase) activity, and the pigment was partially bleached with H2O2. The APase-incubated choroid was flat embedded and sectioned after image and morphometric analyses. Quantitative computer-assisted morphometric analyses of the two AMD-affected eyes (cases 1 and 2) were compared with analysis of the normal eye of a 70-year-old control subject (case 3). RESULTS. The right eye in case 1 had geographic atrophy (GA) and demonstrated a large area in the posterior pole with very few RPE cells (90% loss of RPE), but the border of the area of RPE atrophy was not well defined. The density of choroidal blood vessels in this area was reduced 30% to 50%, compared with the same regions in the control eye. No area was completely devoid of choriocapillaris. Clinically undetected choroidal neovascularization (CNV) was observed in the right eye in case 1 in both the periphery and the macula and was generally associated with surviving RPE cells. The right eye in case 2 had GA (areolar RPE atrophy) and demonstrated a reduction in vascular density in the area from disc to macula that was even greater than that in the eye in case 1 (53% reduction in the submacular region). RPE atrophy between the disc and macula was almost complete. The border of the RPE defect was clearly delineated and coincided closely with the area of decreased choroidal vascular density. Surviving choriocapillaris in the area of RPE atrophy was significantly narrower than choriocapillaris in the control subject and in normal areas of the eyes with GA (P <0.0001). CONCLUSIONS. In these eyes with GA, RPE atrophy was more severe than loss of choriocapillaris. Surviving choriocapillaris in areas with complete RPE loss was highly constricted. The association of surviving RPE cells with CNV suggests that RPE cells may furnish a stimulus for new vessel formation or stabilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1986-1993
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Volume43
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002

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Retinal Pigment Epithelium
Macular Degeneration
Geographic Atrophy
Atrophy
Blood Vessels
Choroidal Neovascularization
Choroid
Alkaline Phosphatase
Sclera

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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Quantifying changes in RPE and choroidal vasculature in eyes with age-related macular degeneration. / McLeod, D. Scott; Taomoto, Makoto; Otsuji, Tsuyoshi; Green, W. Richard; Sunness, Janet S.; Lutty, Gerard Anthony.

In: Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Vol. 43, No. 6, 2002, p. 1986-1993.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

McLeod, D. Scott ; Taomoto, Makoto ; Otsuji, Tsuyoshi ; Green, W. Richard ; Sunness, Janet S. ; Lutty, Gerard Anthony. / Quantifying changes in RPE and choroidal vasculature in eyes with age-related macular degeneration. In: Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 2002 ; Vol. 43, No. 6. pp. 1986-1993.
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abstract = "PURPOSE. An image-analysis technique was developed to quantify changes in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and choriocapillaris in eyes of deceased donors with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS. Both eyes of two donors with AMD and of one normal control donor were used to develop this technique. After removal of the anterior segments, the eyecups were hemisected through the macula, with the disc included in one half of the eyecup. The choroid with RPE cells was dissected from the sclera and incubated for alkaline phosphatase (APase) activity, and the pigment was partially bleached with H2O2. The APase-incubated choroid was flat embedded and sectioned after image and morphometric analyses. Quantitative computer-assisted morphometric analyses of the two AMD-affected eyes (cases 1 and 2) were compared with analysis of the normal eye of a 70-year-old control subject (case 3). RESULTS. The right eye in case 1 had geographic atrophy (GA) and demonstrated a large area in the posterior pole with very few RPE cells (90{\%} loss of RPE), but the border of the area of RPE atrophy was not well defined. The density of choroidal blood vessels in this area was reduced 30{\%} to 50{\%}, compared with the same regions in the control eye. No area was completely devoid of choriocapillaris. Clinically undetected choroidal neovascularization (CNV) was observed in the right eye in case 1 in both the periphery and the macula and was generally associated with surviving RPE cells. The right eye in case 2 had GA (areolar RPE atrophy) and demonstrated a reduction in vascular density in the area from disc to macula that was even greater than that in the eye in case 1 (53{\%} reduction in the submacular region). RPE atrophy between the disc and macula was almost complete. The border of the RPE defect was clearly delineated and coincided closely with the area of decreased choroidal vascular density. Surviving choriocapillaris in the area of RPE atrophy was significantly narrower than choriocapillaris in the control subject and in normal areas of the eyes with GA (P <0.0001). CONCLUSIONS. In these eyes with GA, RPE atrophy was more severe than loss of choriocapillaris. Surviving choriocapillaris in areas with complete RPE loss was highly constricted. The association of surviving RPE cells with CNV suggests that RPE cells may furnish a stimulus for new vessel formation or stabilization.",
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T1 - Quantifying changes in RPE and choroidal vasculature in eyes with age-related macular degeneration

AU - McLeod, D. Scott

AU - Taomoto, Makoto

AU - Otsuji, Tsuyoshi

AU - Green, W. Richard

AU - Sunness, Janet S.

AU - Lutty, Gerard Anthony

PY - 2002

Y1 - 2002

N2 - PURPOSE. An image-analysis technique was developed to quantify changes in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and choriocapillaris in eyes of deceased donors with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS. Both eyes of two donors with AMD and of one normal control donor were used to develop this technique. After removal of the anterior segments, the eyecups were hemisected through the macula, with the disc included in one half of the eyecup. The choroid with RPE cells was dissected from the sclera and incubated for alkaline phosphatase (APase) activity, and the pigment was partially bleached with H2O2. The APase-incubated choroid was flat embedded and sectioned after image and morphometric analyses. Quantitative computer-assisted morphometric analyses of the two AMD-affected eyes (cases 1 and 2) were compared with analysis of the normal eye of a 70-year-old control subject (case 3). RESULTS. The right eye in case 1 had geographic atrophy (GA) and demonstrated a large area in the posterior pole with very few RPE cells (90% loss of RPE), but the border of the area of RPE atrophy was not well defined. The density of choroidal blood vessels in this area was reduced 30% to 50%, compared with the same regions in the control eye. No area was completely devoid of choriocapillaris. Clinically undetected choroidal neovascularization (CNV) was observed in the right eye in case 1 in both the periphery and the macula and was generally associated with surviving RPE cells. The right eye in case 2 had GA (areolar RPE atrophy) and demonstrated a reduction in vascular density in the area from disc to macula that was even greater than that in the eye in case 1 (53% reduction in the submacular region). RPE atrophy between the disc and macula was almost complete. The border of the RPE defect was clearly delineated and coincided closely with the area of decreased choroidal vascular density. Surviving choriocapillaris in the area of RPE atrophy was significantly narrower than choriocapillaris in the control subject and in normal areas of the eyes with GA (P <0.0001). CONCLUSIONS. In these eyes with GA, RPE atrophy was more severe than loss of choriocapillaris. Surviving choriocapillaris in areas with complete RPE loss was highly constricted. The association of surviving RPE cells with CNV suggests that RPE cells may furnish a stimulus for new vessel formation or stabilization.

AB - PURPOSE. An image-analysis technique was developed to quantify changes in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and choriocapillaris in eyes of deceased donors with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS. Both eyes of two donors with AMD and of one normal control donor were used to develop this technique. After removal of the anterior segments, the eyecups were hemisected through the macula, with the disc included in one half of the eyecup. The choroid with RPE cells was dissected from the sclera and incubated for alkaline phosphatase (APase) activity, and the pigment was partially bleached with H2O2. The APase-incubated choroid was flat embedded and sectioned after image and morphometric analyses. Quantitative computer-assisted morphometric analyses of the two AMD-affected eyes (cases 1 and 2) were compared with analysis of the normal eye of a 70-year-old control subject (case 3). RESULTS. The right eye in case 1 had geographic atrophy (GA) and demonstrated a large area in the posterior pole with very few RPE cells (90% loss of RPE), but the border of the area of RPE atrophy was not well defined. The density of choroidal blood vessels in this area was reduced 30% to 50%, compared with the same regions in the control eye. No area was completely devoid of choriocapillaris. Clinically undetected choroidal neovascularization (CNV) was observed in the right eye in case 1 in both the periphery and the macula and was generally associated with surviving RPE cells. The right eye in case 2 had GA (areolar RPE atrophy) and demonstrated a reduction in vascular density in the area from disc to macula that was even greater than that in the eye in case 1 (53% reduction in the submacular region). RPE atrophy between the disc and macula was almost complete. The border of the RPE defect was clearly delineated and coincided closely with the area of decreased choroidal vascular density. Surviving choriocapillaris in the area of RPE atrophy was significantly narrower than choriocapillaris in the control subject and in normal areas of the eyes with GA (P <0.0001). CONCLUSIONS. In these eyes with GA, RPE atrophy was more severe than loss of choriocapillaris. Surviving choriocapillaris in areas with complete RPE loss was highly constricted. The association of surviving RPE cells with CNV suggests that RPE cells may furnish a stimulus for new vessel formation or stabilization.

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