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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 201-204

Age-related changes in the macula. A histopathological study of fifty Indian donor eyes

Medical and Vision Research Foundation, Sankara Nethralaya, 18 College Road, Chennai-600 006, India

Correspondence Address:
J Biswas
Medical and Vision Research Foundation, Sankara Nethralaya, 18 College Road, Chennai-600 006
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 12355694

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PURPOSE: Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is clinically less common in India compared to the West. Therefore, clinicians are unfamiliar with histopathologic evidence of age-related macular changes in the Indian population. METHODS: Fifty consecutive human donor eyes removed for corneal grafting were studied for gross, microscopic and histochemical features of age-related changes in the macula in the Indian population. A horizontal block was cut from the globe including the optic disc, and the macula. Six sections, 6 microns thick, were cut from three levels in the macula at a distance of 140 microns. These were stained with haemotoxylin-eosin, periodic acid-Schiff, Mallory, Masson trichrome, alcian blue and von Kossa stains. The presence of basal laminar deposits, drusen and thickening and calcification of Bruch's membrane in the macula were assessed at 400 x magnification using a modified version of Sark's classification. RESULTS: Twenty-four donor eyes (48%) had some form of age-related macular change. These included basal laminar deposits, hard drusen, soft drusen, extensive retinal pigment epithelium atrophy of the macula, and disciform degeneration of macula. A combination of changes was often seen. Age-related changes were more common in the seventh and eighth decade. CONCLUSION: Our study shows that histological changes characteristic of the early stages of age-related macular degeneration are fairly common in the Indian population. However, advanced macular changes are significantly rare.

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