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Rigmor C. Baraas, Hilde R. Pedersen, Kenneth Knoblauch, Stuart J. Gilson; Human Foveal Cone and RPE Cell Topographies and Their Correspondence With Foveal Shape. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(2):8. https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.63.2.8.
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To characterize the association between foveal shape and cone and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell topographies in healthy humans.
Multimodal adaptive scanning light ophthalmoscopy and optical coherence tomography (OCT) were used to acquire images of foveal cones, RPE cells, and retinal layers in eyes of 23 healthy participants with normal foveas. Distributions of cone and RPE cell densities were fitted with nonlinear mixed-effects models. A linear mixed-effects model was used to examine the relationship between cone and RPE inter-cell distances and foveal shape as obtained from the OCT scans of retinal thickness.
The best-fit model to the cone densities was a power function with a nasal–temporal asymmetry. There was a significant linear relationship among cone and RPE cell spacing, foveal shape, and foveal cell topography. The model predictions of the central 10° show that the contributions of both the cones and RPE cells are necessary to account for foveal shape.
The results indicate that there is a strong relationship between cone and RPE cell spacing and the shape of the human adolescent and adult fovea. This finding adds to the existing evidence of the critical role that the RPE serves in fetal foveal development and through adolescence, possibly via the imposition of constraints on the number and distribution of foveal cones.
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