The architecture of the most peripheral retinal vessels

  • Manfred Spitznas
  • Norbert Bornfeld


The vascular bed of the extreme periphery of the human retina is characterized by the occurrence of relatively wide arcades and bridging vessels connecting the peripheral portions of arteries and veins. These vessels differ from the more posterior capillaries not only by their larger diameter but also by the presence of a perivascular halo, which consists of an electron-translucent ground substance containing fine collagen fibrils, basement membrane material, dense bodies, vesicles, and portions of macrophages. The appearance of the external portion of the halo and the relationship of its collagen fibrils to the basement membrane of the surrounding Müller cells is indistinguishable from that of the cortical vitreous and the inner limiting membrane located at the vitreoretinal interface. Toward the periphery the thickness of the halo increases from vessel to vessel. As a rule, one or more of the vessel loops closest to the ora serrata are occluded. The structure of these occluded vessels is identical with the structure of the halo.


Retina Fibril Basement Membrane Collagen Fibril Dense Body 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred Spitznas
    • 1
  • Norbert Bornfeld
    • 1
  1. 1.University Eye HospitalEssen 1Federal Republic of Germany

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