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Improving Viability and Functional Outcome After Whole Eye Transplantation

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Annual rept. 15 Sep 2014-14 Sep 2015

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BACKGROUND Approximately 37 million people throughout the world suffer from blindness with up to 20 having only visual light perception or less. The permanent nature of vision loss is largely due to the inability of retinal ganglion cells to regenerate. Whole eye transplantation WET gives the opportunity to provide viable retinal ganglion cells and the entire optical system to recipients with vision loss and irreversible injury to the eye. We have recently established a whole eye transplant model in the rat. The purpose of our study is to evaluate viability, structural integrity, and functional outcome after whole eye transplantation. METHODS All syngeneic whole eye transplants were performed. Slit lamp examination, OCT imaging of the cornea, and intraocular pressure evaluation were performed. RESULTS All eyes experienced certain degrees of corneal neovascularization. OCT imaging confirmed transparency of the cornea and lens, preservation of the structural layers of the retina, and blood flow throughout the eye. Intraocular pressure in the transplanted eyes was within normal range. Histology confirmed neovascularization of the cornea as well as preservation of the structural integrity of the retina, with the exception of thinning of the retinal ganglion cell layer. CONCLUSION We have established a viable orthotopic model for vascularized whole eye transplantation in the rat with relative maintenance of structural integrity and ocular physiology.

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  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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