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Photo Essay
September 2002

The Human Retina in Health and Disease [CD-ROM]

Author Affiliations


Arch Ophthalmol. 2002;120(9):1239. doi:

Those of us who are involved in clinical ophthalmology are used to seeing images of standard paraffin-embedded histologic sections of the globe that have been stained with hematoxylin-eosin or periodic acid–Schiff. Although the retina can be visualized in this way, the experience is rather unsatisfying owing to the thickness of paraffin sections, the artifacts inherent to the process, and the tissue autolysis that is often present in autopsy specimens. However, a walk through the poster sessions at an Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) meeting is enough to impress upon anyone what vision researchers have known for years. Namely, that with appropriate specimens and some of the newest and cleverest research methods, truly amazing light microscopic retinal images can be produced. Perhaps this is not too surprising since, as our pathologist colleagues remind us, a histologic section is actually a small piece of the patient, containing all of the complexity inherent in multicellular organisms. The tissue already has the answers; we just have to ask the right questions.

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