Repair and late degeneration of the primate foveola after injury by argon laser

M. O.M. Tso, B. S. Fine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Each foveola of nine rhesus monkey eyes was subjected to a single, mild, calibrated exposure from an argon laser (1 to 1.4 mW for 10 to 20 min). Observations from ophthalmoscopy, fundus photography, and fluorescein angiography were correlated with light and electron microscopic studies. The ophthalmoscopic changes consisted of initial whitening and subsequent but persistent depigmentation of the foveola. Fluorescein angiography showed a pattern consistent with 'window defect' of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). In the first 6 months after injury, the pathologic changes consisted of initial vacuolar changes of the RPE, followed by persistent hypopigmentation and slow development of membranous bodies or lipoidal degeneration in these cells. Initial alteration and subsequent incomplete reformation of cone outer segments were also noted. In animals sacrificed 3 to 4 years after injury, separation of RPE from Bruch's membrane, with production of various abnormal basement membranes and intercellular cystoid changes in the overlying retina, was observed. The morphologic observations suggest that although the mildly injured epithelial cells may recover, they may develop functional incompetence at a later date, resulting in serous detachment of RPE and foveal (macular) edema.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-461
Number of pages15
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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