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January 1969

Retinal Vascular Changes in Hereditary Visual Cell Degeneration

Author Affiliations

From the Neurosensory Laboratory, Medical School, State University of New York, Buffalo. Drs. Gerstein and Dantzker are presently Interns at Buffalo General Hospital; the work was performed while the authors were students of State University of New York Medical School, Buffalo.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1969;81(1):99-105. doi:10.1001/archopht.1969.00990010101014

Retinal microvascular changes were studied in trypsin-digested specimens from a strain of rats afflicted with hereditary visual cell degeneration. A close temporal relationship was noted and described between the progressive degeneration and thinning of the outer retinal layers and the degeneration of retinal capillaries. The possibility of a cause and effect relationship between the two phenomena is discussed. It is felt that the degeneration and thinning of the outer retinal layers, which brings the retinal vascular network into closer apposition with the extensive choroidal vascular plexus and results in less tissue mass with which to metabolize oxygen, leads to an increased oxygen tension in the outer retinal layers. This increased oxygen tension has a vasoconstrictive and degenerative effect on the retinal microvasculature.