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P. Schrittenloher, H. Sachs, U. Brunner, T. Zink, E. Zrenner, V.–P. Gabel; Chronic Subretinal Transchoroidally Implanted Visual Prosthesies Prototypes in Domestic Pigs: Six Month Follow Up Results . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):1030.
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A safe transchoroidal subretinal access is mandatory for a successful chronic implantation of a cable bound visual prosthesis. In order to establish the prerequisites for human implantation, results of long–term implantations in adequate animal models are of utmost importance.
3 out of 8 domestic pigs that had received subretinal cable bound stimulation devices were kept in a long term trial for 6 month. No retinal tamponade was used. Fundus appearance was monitored during the follow up period via ophthalmoscopy, FA and fundus photography.
After transchoroidal implantation of a foil bound stimulation device 2 of 3 animals showed good retinal conditions with complete reattachment of the retina and stable conditions during the follow up period. One animal that had a difficult surgery developed a cataract and showed a detached retina after explantation of the globe.
The transchoroidal implantation showed to be a manageable procedure despite the well–known limits of the surgically difficult pig model. The retinal problem of the third animal was addressed to the initial surgical difficulties in the model. The good surgical results in 2 out of 3 animals in long term follow up without using any form of a tamponade gives rise to the hope that a long term implantation of cable bound devices in patients will be feasible.
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