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.
|Number of pages
|Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
|Published - Jan 1 1979
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience