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Timothy Saunders, Patrick Gore, Nicholas Sprehe, Peter Pavan, Curtis Margo; Postmortem Imaging of the Posterior Segment of Eyes with Histopathologic Correlation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):2313.
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To describe the correlation of postmortem vitreoretinochoroidal imaging of whole tissue bank eyes by photography and inference tomography with histopathological examination.
Whole, unfixed, tissue bank globes were dropped with a solution of 10% phenylephrine and 1% tropicamide, given in two rounds, 3 minutes apart. 20 minutes later the globes were enucleated by standard techniques and kept moist with saline soaked gauze, then placed in a specimen cup and refrigerated in a transport cooler. The tissue was delivered to investigators within 12 hours of the time of death. The globes were oriented and secured to a Styrofoam head. Balanced salt solution in a 1 ml syringe with a 32 gauge needle was injected into the vitreous cavity though a spot 3.5 mm posterior to the limbus, and the eye was titrated to an appropriate pressure by palpation. Photographs and optical coherence tomography (OCT) images were obtained. Eyes were then fixed with 10% formalin. Step sectioning of the maculopapular bundle was performed using standard techniques and histopathologic exam was performed.
Pupil dilation adequate for fundus photographs and OCT of the maculopapular bundle was achieved after death. Image quality was adequate, for both modalities, though artifact was present. Outer retinal structures were identifiable and demonstrated structural details. Retinal pigment epithelial and choroidal landmarks were easily identifiable. The lumen of large caliber retinal vessels had low reflectivity, appearing dark. Histopathologic evaluation showed good correlations with postmortem imaging.
Commonly used techniques to image the posterior segment of the eye can be adapted to screen postmortem eyes. Fundus photography and OCT can be employed by researchers to more efficiently screen postmortem eyes for disease-specific conditions.
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