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Jeffrey G. Eng, Rajat N. Agrawal, Kevin R. Tozer, Fred N. Ross-Cisneros, Gislin Dagnelie, Robert J. Greenberg, Gerald J. Chader, James D. Weiland, Narsing A. Rao, Alfredo A. Sadun, Mark S. Humayun; Morphometric Analysis of Optic Nerves and Retina from an End-Stage Retinitis Pigmentosa Patient with an Implanted Active Epiretinal Array. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(7):4610-4616. doi: 10.1167/iovs.09-4936.
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To characterize optic nerve and retinal changes in a patient with end-stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP) with an implanted active epiretinal array.
A 74-year-old man with end-stage X-linked RP underwent implantation of an epiretinal array over the macula in the right eye and subsequent stimulation until his death at 5 years and 3 months after implantation. The optic nerves from this study patient, as well as those from two age-matched normal patients and two age-matched RP patients, were morphometrically analyzed against two different sets of criteria and compared. The retina underlying the array in the study patient was also morphometrically analyzed and compared with corresponding regions of the retina in the age-matched RP patients.
Optic nerve total axon counts were significantly lower in the study patient and RP patients than in normal patients. However, there was no significant difference when comparing total axon counts from the optic nerve corresponding to the patient's implanted right eye versus the optic nerves from the RP patients (P = 0.59 and P = 0.61 using the two different criteria). Degenerated axon data quantified damage and did not show increased damage in the optic nerve quadrant that retinotopically corresponded to the site of epiretinal array implantation and stimulation. Except for the tack site, there was no significant difference when comparing the retina underlying the array and the corresponding perimacular regions of two RP patients.
Long-term implantation and electrical stimulation with an epiretinal array did not result in damage that could be appreciated in a morphometric analysis of the optic nerve and retina. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00279500.)
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