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Grazia Pertile, Maurizio Mete, Antonio Peroglio Deiro, Massimo Guerriero, Mauro Sartore, Alessandro Alfano, Antonio Polito; New Insights Into the Development and Progression of Geographic Atrophy After Full Thickness Autologous Choroidal Graft. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(4):AMD93-AMD103. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.18-24229.
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To investigate if the contiguity between native and transplanted retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) represents a protective factor against the progression of atrophy after autologous choroidal graft. In addition, the changes in fundus autofluorescence (FAF) in the contiguous and noncontiguous RPE areas were explored.
The first postoperative reliable FAF image was selected and divided into sectors based on the characteristics of the RPE at the edge of the graft. The sectors were categorized into three groups: contiguous RPE, noncontiguous RPE, and not classifiable. The area of RPE atrophy, inside and outside the graft, was measured for each sector at baseline, one, three, and five years of follow-up. The FAF pattern outside the graft was evaluated for every sector at baseline and during the follow-up.
Nineteen patients met the inclusion criteria and were included in this study. Trend analysis showed that the atrophy progression outside the graft was statistically significant in areas where native and transplanted RPE were noncontiguous (P < 0.0001) yet not so in contiguous areas (P < 0.058). Inside the graft, both groups showed an increase in atrophy over time. In addition, the noncontiguous group developed more severe increased FAF patterns compared with the contiguous group.
RPE contiguity after autologous choroidal graft seems to be a protective factor against atrophy progression, whereas any area of damaged or absent RPE tends to enlarge over time. This may suggest that the transplantation of an RPE sheet is more likely to be effective than an RPE cell suspension.
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