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Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2019 May 30;8(3):31. doi: 10.1167/tvst.8.3.31. eCollection 2019 May.

Histopathologic Assessment of Optic Nerves and Retina From a Patient With Chronically Implanted Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, USC Roski Eye Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
2
USC Ginsburg Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
3
Department of Ophthalmology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
4
Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
5
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
6
School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
7
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
8
Department of Pathology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
9
Retina Foundation of the Southwest, Dallas, TX, USA.
10
Texas Retina Associates, Dallas, TX, USA.
11
Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., Sylmar, CA, USA.

Abstract

Purpose:

To characterize histologic changes in the optic nerve and the retina of an end-stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patient after long-term implantation with the Argus II retinal prosthesis system.

Methods:

Serial cross sections from the patient's both eyes were collected postmortem 6 years after implantation. Optic nerve from both eyes were morphometrically analyzed and compared. Retina underneath and outside the array was analyzed and compared with corresponding regions in the fellow eye.

Results:

Although the optic nerve of the implant eye demonstrated significantly more overall atrophy than the fellow eye (P < 0.01), the temporal quadrant that retinotopically corresponded to the location of the array did not show additional damage. The total neuron count of the macular area was not significantly different between the two eyes, but the tack locations and their adjacent areas showed significantly fewer neurons than other perimacular areas. There was an increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) throughout the retina in the implant eye versus the fellow eye, but there was no significant difference in the cellular retinaldehyde-binding protein (CRALBP) expression. Except for the revision tack site, no significant increase of inflammatory reaction was detected in the implant eye.

Conclusion:

Long-term implantation and electrical stimulation with an Argus II retinal prosthesis system did not result in significant tissue damage that could be detected by a morphometric analysis.

Translational Relevance:

This study supports the long-term safety of the Argus II device and encourages further development of bioelectronics devices at the retina-machine interface.

KEYWORDS:

histopathology; retinal prosthesis; retinitis pigmentosa

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