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Alterations of aqueous humour outflow following argon laser trabeculoplasty in monkeys.
  1. S. Melamed and
  2. D. L. Epstein
  1. Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston 02114.


    We performed argon laser trabeculoplasty in one eye in each of three cynomolgus monkeys, leaving the contralateral eyes as controls. Four weeks later in both eyes of each monkey we infused cationized ferritin as a tracer of the aqueous outflow pathways for 30-40 minutes before fixation. In the control eyes cationized ferritin was found throughout the conventional aqueous outflow tract, labelling trabecular endothelial cells, both inner and outer walls of Schlemm's canal, and the collecting channels. No permeation of cationized ferritin through continuous cellular layers such as the corneal endothelium was detected. In the lasered spots of the treated eyes cationized ferritin was found to label the cellular sheet covering the trabecular scar at the lasered site, but no tracer was detected within the scar or in Schlemm's canal immediately beneath. In contrast in adjacent non-lasered regions the trabecular cells, the observed juxta-canalicular herniations, and the vacuoles of the inner wall as well as Schlemm's canal itself were extensively labelled. Our findings suggest impermeability to aqueous humour flow through the actual lasered lesion, with shift of flow to adjacent, non-lasered regions. In the normal monkey these regions compensate structurally and functionally in ways that may help to deal with this diverted flow.

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