Autologous iris pigment epithelial cell transplantation was performed on patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Autologous IPE cell culture was performed using autologous serum after iridectomy in 7 patients with AMD. The cell suspensions (2∼20 × 104 cells) were transplanted into the submacular lesion of individuals after removal of neovascular membranes. Subsequent ophthalmological examinations, including best corrected visual acuity and fluorescein or indocyanine green angiography, were performed. In addition, 15 patients with AMD, who underwent removal of neovascular membrane without transplantation, were evaluated as non randomized controls. Varying degrees of atrophy or defects of choriocapillaris and retinal pigment epithelium were observed in all of the patients. No cystoid macular edema or fluorescein leakage was observed after treatment, but window defects were present. No patient had decreased visual acuity. One treated patient developed mild subretinal fibrosis and an other patient developed mild preretinal fibrosis, however no difference was significant when compared with the control. In coclusion, the treatment resulted in no significant improvement in macular function, as compared with the control; however, no rejection or deterioration in visual acuity occurred up to the 13 month follow up.
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