PurposeDelivery of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products to the submacular space is increasingly evolving into a therapeutic modality. Cell replacement for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and gene therapy for RPE65 are recent successful examples. Herein, a nonhuman primate (NHP) model was used to investigate surgical means to detach the macula.
MethodsSixteen eyes of 13 healthy macaques underwent a 25-gauge vitrectomy and subretinal injection of balanced salt solution monitored by microscope-integrated intraoperative optical coherence tomography (miOCT). The animals were followed with OCT and histology.
ResultsThe miOCT monitoring allowed a more precise definition of surgical trauma ranging from an initial full-thickness foveal tear, or induction of a cystoid macular edema (CME), until no foveal defect was discernible, as the technique improved. However, as the subretinal fluid wave detached the fovea, the aforementioned lesions formed, whereas persistent retinal adhesion reproducibly proved to remain in the distal parafoveal semi-annulus. Measures to reduce foveal trauma during submacular fluid injection included reducing intraocular pressure, injection volume, and velocity, as well as the retinal location for bleb initiation, use of a vitreous tamponade, and a dual-bore subretinal cannula.
ConclusionsA stable very low intraocular pressure and careful subretinal injection may avoid tangential macular stretching or mechanical CME formation, while vitreous tamponade may facilitate a more lamellar subretinal flow, all thereby reducing foveal trauma during submacular injection in NHP.
Translational relevanceThese results can be relevant to any submacular surgery procedure used today, as they synergistically reduce the risk of compromising foveal integrity.
SUBMITTER: Tan GSW