Experimental deprivation of the choroidal blood flow up to 24 hours in owl monkey eyes resulted in final necrosis of the pigment epithelium and photoreceptor cells. Müller cells did not show morphologic deterioration. The inner retinal layers exhibited marked extracellular edema, but no intracellular or vascular damage. The electroretinogram's B-wave disappeared early, followed by the disappearance of the A-wave, but the early receptor potential remained intact for 12 hours. The electrophysiologic changes correlate well with the sequence of morphological changes. These findings show that retinal pigment epithelium and photoreceptors depend mostly on supply from the choridal circulation. The extracellular edema of the inner retinal layers if evidence for a mechanism by which fluid is normally removed from the retina into the choroid via the retinal pigment epithelium.
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