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A Okubo, R H Rosa, C V Bunce, R A Alexander, J T Fan, A C Bird, P J Luthert; The relationships of age changes in retinal pigment epithelium and Bruch's membrane.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(2):443-449.
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PURPOSE: To study the correlations between age, Bruch's membrane (BM) thickness, retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) autofluorescence, and RPE residual body content. METHODS: Eight-millimeter-diameter macular discs from 88 unpaired human eye bank eyes were obtained within 72 hours of death, fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin, and hemisected horizontally. One portion of the macular disc was embedded in paraffin and stained with periodic acid-Schiff for the measurement of BM thickness. RPE autofluorescence measurements were performed on unstained, deparaffinized sections. A second portion of the macular disc was prepared for electron microscopy to evaluate RPE residual body content. Linear and polynomial regression techniques were used to investigate the correlations between age, BM thickness, RPE autofluorescence, and RPE residual body content. RESULTS: Bruch's membrane thickness increased with age according to the linear model. RPE autofluorescence and RPE residual body content also increased with age, but the correlations were best approximated by a quadratic model. The correlations between RPE autofluorescence and residual body content and between BM thickness and RPE autofluorescence were best approximated by a linear regression model. There was considerable variation in these correlations between specimens and within the same age group. CONCLUSIONS: Although the changes in RPE and Bruch's membrane increased with age and there was a direct correlation between changes in the two tissues, there was considerable variation within each age group and between specimens. This probably reflects the multifactorial nature of the process.
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