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U Schraermeyer, K Addicks, N Kociok, P Esser, K Heimann; Capillaries are present in Bruch's membrane at the ora serrata in the human eye.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1998;39(7):1076-1084.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
PURPOSE: Because earlier studies indicate that the choroid close to the ora serrata may have unique anatomic features such as wandering cells, blood vessels in Bruch's membrane, and accumulated pigment in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), the morphology of the normal human eye at the ora serrata region was investigated. METHODS: Specimens from the ora serrata region of two normal human eyes (male donors, 48 and 52 years old) were investigated by light and electron microscope. Specimens from all quadrants were studied in one eye. RESULTS: The elastic layer of Bruch's membrane extended as far as 15 microm into the peripheral choroid; capillaries were included between the elastin layer and the RPE. Nasally, from the anterior end to 2 mm posterior of the ora serrata, the RPE cells contained more melanin than did those in the adjacent posterior region. Melanin granules in the RPE cells close to the ora either formed large clusters or appeared unusually small because of fragmentation. A unique, fine lamellar, membranous material with a fingerprint-like structure was found between the basal folds of the RPE. This material is also found within the extracellular matrix of the choroid and in association with red blood cells. CONCLUSIONS: The morphology of Bruch's membrane is varied near the ora serrata because capillaries and wandering cells are present in its outer collagenous layer. Unique, fine lamellar, fingerprint-like structures are extruded from the RPE and are removed from the eye together with red blood cells. Capillaries within the inner collagenous region of Bruch's membrane at the ora serrata may not necessarily represent a pathologic response but may be a normal characteristic of thick regions of Bruch's membrane.
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