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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1977 Dec;16(12):1154-7.

Capillary-free area of the fovea with advancing age.


The mean diameter of the capillary-free zone of the fovea was measured on fluorescein angiograms of 167 eyes of 158 patients. In all eyes examined, a clear-cut capillary-free area was found, although in a few cases one or two capillaries crossing the avascular zone were seen. There was a considerable individual variation in each age group. The mean diameter of the capillary-free zone was 0.53 mm. in patients between 10 and 39 years of age and 0.61 mm. after the age of 40. This difference is statistically highly significant (p less than 0.001), indicating some occlusion or atrophy of the macular capillaries by age, but no further increase in the mean diameter of the avascular zone was observed during the fifth decade or later. Findings in the two youngest patients, 12 and 22 months of age, were roughly comparable with those observed in adults.

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