Visual acuity of 20/32, 13.5 years after a retinal pigment epithelium and choroid graft transplantation

Elsbeth J T van Zeeburg, Kristel J M Maaijwee, Jan C van Meurs

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


Purpose: To present the 13.5-year-survival of an autologous retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and choroid graft transplantation with good visual acuity results.

Observations: A 72-year old patient presented with a 5-weeks-old visual acuity deterioration to excentric finger counting at half a meter. Fundoscopy showed a fibrotic macular scar, a large subretinal hemorrhage, partly recent, combined with intraretinal fluid, blood, and hard exudates. RPE-choroid graft surgery was performed, and visual acuity improved to 20/32, and maintained up until 13.5 years postoperative. Microperimetry performed at the same time revealed a 3.4 dB sensitivity, with fixation on the graft. During the postoperative years glaucoma developed, an uveitis anterior was treated, and to treat a small Coats' like lesion; one bevacizumab injection was administered.

Conclusions and importance: A best corrected visual acuity of 20/32 could be achieved and maintained up to 13.5 years after an RPE-choroid graft transplantation, despite an unfavorable preoperative presentation and some early and late complications. This case is a proof of principle that an RPE-choroid graft harvested from the midperiphery can support the macular metabolism up to 13.5 after surgery in a patient with severe exudative AMD. It also represents a rationale for pursuing stem cell derived RPE replacement. Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections are nowadays the mainstay of therapy for choroidal neovascularization and/or small hemorrhages and offer good results. Nevertheless, selected patients that cannot benefit from this therapy may profit from an autologous RPE-choroid graft transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-64
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


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