The goal of this study was to quantitatively assess retinal thickness using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) after subretinal implantation of human embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium in a porcine model. The implant is called CPCB-RPE1 for the California Project to Cure Blindness-Retinal Pigment Epithelium 1. Data were derived from previous experiments on 14 minipigs that received either subretinal implantation of CPCB-RPE1 (n = 11) or subretinal bleb formation alone (sham; n = 3) using previously described methods and procedures (Brant Fernandes et al. Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina 47:342-51, 2016; Martynova et al. (2016) Koss et al. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 254:1553-65, 2016; Hu et al. Ophthalmic Res 48:186-91, 2016; Martynova et al. ARVO Abstract 2016. SD-OCT retinal thickness (RT) and sublayer thickness over the implant were compared with topographically similar preimplantation regions as described previously Martynova et al. ARVO Abstract 2016. Imaging results were compared to postmortem histology using hematoxylin-eosin staining. RT overlying the CPCB-RPE1 postimplantation was not significantly different from preimplantation (308 ± 72 μm vs 292 ± 41 μm; p = 0.44). RT was not significantly different before and after implantation in any retinal sublayer at 1 month. Histology demonstrated grossly normal retinal anatomy as well as photoreceptor interdigitation with RPE.
Keywords: Human embryonic stem cells; Optical coherence tomography; Porcine; Retina; Retinal pigment epithelium; Subretinal surgery.