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A Takeuchi, G Kricorian, M F Marmor; Albumin movement out of the subretinal space after experimental retinal detachment.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1995;36(7):1298-1305.
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PURPOSE: The subretinal fluid of serous retinal detachments contains protein, but little is known about its origin and fate. The authors designed experiments to study the rate and route of albumin movement out of the subretinal space. METHODS: Experimental retinal detachments were made in Dutch rabbits by injecting Hanks' balanced salt solution containing serum levels (approximately 30 mg/ml) of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) albumin into the subretinal space through a micropipette. Subretinal, vitreous, and serum fluid samples were withdrawn 0 to 4 hours later through a similar micropipette and were analyzed for osmolality, FITC albumin content (by fluorophotometry) and FITC+native albumin content (by gel electrophoresis). Sodium iodate was injected intravenously in some rabbits to damage the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). RESULTS: Albumin injected into the subretinal fluid diffused steadily into the vitreous, and its concentration decreased by approximately 5% per hour. This rate was unaffected by RPE damage. Albumin did not move into the bloodstream unless the RPE was damaged with sodium iodate, and then it crossed the RPE at approximately 25% of the rate at which it moved into the vitreous. Subretinal fluid osmolality remained within the range of 293 to 294 mOsm/kg despite protein movement and the continual absorption of fluid from the detachments. CONCLUSIONS: These results show that albumin in the subretinal space diffuses readily into the vitreous, and subretinal osmolality changes are rapidly equilibrated with the vitreous. Albumin does not cross normal RPE, and it crosses iodate-damaged RPE more slowly than it crosses retina. Thus, there must be a constant supply of albumin if high subretinal concentrations are to be sustained in clinical serous detachments.
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