Purchase this article with an account.
Robert Haimovici, Donald L. Gantz, Shimon Rumelt, Thomas F. Freddo, Donald M. Small; The Lipid Composition of Drusen, Bruch’s Membrane, and Sclera by Hot Stage Polarizing Light Microscopy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2001;42(7):1592-1599.
Download citation file:
© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
purpose. To detect and identify, in situ, the lipid composition of drusen,
diffuse Bruch’s membrane deposits, and sclera in aging human eyes
using hot-stage polarizing microscopy (HSPM), a method that allows
qualitative determination of lipid subtypes within histologic sections
based on morphology and melting temperatures of liquid crystals as
monitored by birefringence during heating and cooling.
methods. Full-thickness buttons of the central macula and the periphery of human
eyes from 17 patients were fixed in 5% calcium-buffered formalin.
Frozen sections were stained with oil red O or Sudan black or were
analyzed by HSPM.
results. Birefringent anisotropic droplets (“maltese crosses”) with melting
characteristics of cholesterol esters were identified within diffuse
Bruch’s membrane deposits, drusen, and sclera. Deposits that melted
from crystal to oil without any maltese cross formation when cooled
were present in the sclera and are consistent with triglyceride-rich
deposits. Deposits with optical properties consistent with
phospholipids were identified in a single aged eye. Eyes from young
donors did not show these changes.
conclusions. HSPM is a valuable technique for evaluating the nature of lipid
deposits in aging eyes. Further studies are warranted to determine
whether similar changes are also present in eyes with age-related
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only