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Preliminary report: indications of improved visual function after retinal sheet transplantation in retinitis pigmentosa patients11Norman D. Radtke, MD, Robert B. Aramant, PhD, and Magdalene Seiler, PhD, have a proprietary interest in the instrument and method (patent pending) discussed.



To report indications of new visual function after retinal transplantation in two blind patients with retinitis pigmentosa.


Intact sheets of fetal retina (15 and 17 weeks gestational age) were transplanted subretinally (between the neurosensory retina and the retinal pigment epithelium) near the fovea in the left eye of a 23-year-old white man (Patient A) and in the left eye of a 72-year-old white woman (Patient B), both with autosomal-recessive retinitis pigmentosa.


Postoperatively, at 6 and 5 months, respectively, both patients reported new visual sensation in the visual field corresponding to the transplant. In both patients, the visual sensation continued to be present after transplantation, at 12 and 8 months, respectively. In Patient A, a transient multifocal electroretinography (mfERG) response was observed in the transplant area 4 months postoperatively but was not detectable in Patient A at 6.0 and 9.5 months post-retinal transplantation. In Patient B, no positive mfERG responses were seen up to 5 months postoperatively. No rejection (presenting as cystoid macular edema, macular pucker, and extensive intraretinal edema with disrupted retinal pigment epithelium) to the transplanted tissue was seen up to 13 months in Patient A and 9 months in Patient B by fluorescein angiography.


Transplantation of intact sheets of fetal human retina in two patients with retinitis pigmentosa was not associated with evidence of transplant rejection. Subjective improvement and an indication of objective improvement 4 months postoperatively were seen in Patient A, and subjective improvement only was seen in Patient B.

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