Purpose: To evaluate the autologous translocation of peripheral choroid and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) in 45 eyes of 43 patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Design: Prospective nonrandomized study.
Methods: All patients had visual loss due to AMD (n = 5 classic membranes, n = 14 occult, n = 2 mixed, n = 16 pigment epithelial detachment (PED), n = 5 subretinal hemorrhage, n = 3 geographic atrophy). After extraction of the neovascular complex, an autologous peripheral full-thickness explant of RPE, Bruch membrane, and choroid was translocated from the midperiphery to the macula.
Results: Preoperative distant visual acuity ranged from 20/800 to 20/40. Reading vision ranged from 1.4 logarithm of reading acuity determination (logRAD) to 0.5 logRAD (0.04 to 0.32 Snellen equivalent). Revision surgery was required in 22 eyes as a result of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), retinal detachment, macular pucker, or vitreous hemorrhage. In eight patients, the patch was renewed. At six months, distant visual acuity ranged from light perception to 20/50 (increase of 15 letters in four eyes). Reading vision ranged from 1.4 to 0.4 logRAD. Visual outcome was unrelated to the type of AMD. Vascularization of the transplant was visible on indocyanine green (ICG) angiography in 40 of 42 eyes. In most patients, autofluorescence of the pigment epithelium was coincident with revascularization of the graft. Fixation on the patch was positively related to visual acuity.
Conclusions: Autologous translocation of a full-thickness transplant of choroid and RPE usually results in a vascularized and functioning graft. Vascularization was even achieved in patients with geographic atrophy. Fixation stability and microperimetry before the patch translocation may be helpful in selecting patients who will profit from surgery.