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Histological analysis of retinas sampled during translocation surgery: a comparison with normal and transplantation retinas
  1. L Wickham1,
  2. G P Lewis2,
  3. D G Charteris1,
  4. S K Fisher2,
  5. L Da Cruz1
  1. 1
    Vitreoretinal department, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2
    Neuroscience Research Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, California, USA
  1. Miss L Wickham, VR Research Fellow, Moorfields Eye Hospital, City Road, London EC1V 2PD, UK; louisa.wickham{at}


Aims: To carry out a histopathological analysis of retinal specimens of patients undergoing translocation surgery for age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).

Methods: A histopathological analysis, using confocal microscopy, was performed on six retinal specimens. Results were compared with those from two further retinal specimens, collected during RPE transplantation, to control for the effects of vitrectomy and ARMD. In addition, a third control specimen from a cadaver with no history of ophthalmic disease was also analysed.

Results: In the translocation specimens, rods and cones were relatively well preserved but showed reduced density and outer segment length. In four specimens, there were focal areas of rod opsin redistribution to the inner segment, but this was not observed in the controls. Staining with calbindin was decreased in cones compared with controls but normal in horizontal and amacrine cells. Rod bipolar cells were mildly disorganised, and in one there was evidence of neurite sprouting. Glial fibrillar acidic protein was raised in both translocation and transplantation retinae but not in the cadaver control.

Conclusions: In this study, there was little evidence of cellular injury following iatrogenic detachment; however, the rate of PVR following translocation surgery infers that cellular events set in motion may continue despite early reattachment.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Ethics approval was provided by Moorfields Eye Hospital and the Whittington Hospital.

  • Patient consent: Obtained.