Extensive subretinal pigment epithelial deposit in two brothers suffering from dominant retinitis pigmentosa. A histopathological study.
The eyes of two brothers with retinitis pigmentosa were removed after death and examined by a variety of techniques, including conventional histology, fluorescence microscopy and both scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Their condition was considered to be of an autosomal dominant type but with some atypical clinical features. The outstanding histological feature in both pairs of eyes was a predominantly acellular deposit of amorphous material situated between the retinal pigment epithelium and Bruch's membrane. This material extended from the disc to beyond the ora serrata. In some regions of the retinae of both brothers, there was a cellular infiltrate into the deposit and this included multinucleate cells. In one brother the deposit was lined externally by a fibrovascular membrane in some few locations. All retinae were degenerate, but all showed preservation of abnormally short and sparse photoreceptor cells in both the peripheral and macular areas. There was only patchy loss of the choriocapillaris, which could have been age-dependent rather than disease-dependent, and the remaining choroidal vessels were patent in all cases. The widespread distribution of the deposit is unusual and suggests that it arises from disordered metabolism of the retinal pigment epithelium. We could not determine whether it was a primary disease process or if it arose as a secondary phenomenon.
Duvall, J; McKechnie, NM; Lee, WR; Rothery, S; Marshall, J
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