gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

The vascularization of an autologous-free RPE and choroid graft: an in-vivo experiment

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author K. J. M. Maaijwee - Rotterdam Eye Hospital, The Netherlands; Department of Vitreoretinal Surgery, Center for Ophthalmology, Cologne
  • A. M. Joussen - Department of Vitreoretinal Surgery, Center for Ophthalmology, Cologne
  • B. Kirchhof - Department of Vitreoretinal Surgery, Center for Ophthalmology, Cologne
  • J. C. van Meurs - Rotterdam Eye Hospital, The Netherlands

Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogP 134

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2004

© 2004 Maaijwee et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




In patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration, the surgical removal of the subfoveal choroidal neovascular membrane with the subsequent translocation of an autologous midperipheral full-thickness graft of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and choroid under the macula is a potentially successful new treatment. Building on the encouraging clinical data, we wished to study whether revascularization occurs in an animal model and to identify factors that promote an ideal take of the patch.


In 8 miniature pigs we successfully translocated a choroid-RPE-patch to differently prepared recipient sites. The animals were sacrificed after 3 months and evaluation of the eyes occurred with the use of light microscopy, immunohistochemical staining and scanning electron microscopy.


In 5 patches there was direct contact with the recipient layer. Revascularization of these patches were identified, as the vasculature of the patch appeared perfused. Especially when the patch choroid was in contact with the recipient Bruch's membrane, the patch was likely to be vital.


Revascularization of the patch occurred after translocation. When the patch was flatly placed on the recipient, the take was more likely to be successful.