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The Aging of the Choroid

  • Angelica Cerulli
  • Federico Regine
  • Giuseppe Carella
Part of the Aging Medicine book series (AGME)

Abstract

The first section of this chapter describes the anatomy and the physiology of the choroid and the vascular pattern of the choroidal vessels. The choroid is of fundamental importance for nourishment of the retina so that all the alterations of the choroid lead to a disfunction of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), Bruch's membrane, and choriocapillary complex. The various methods used to study the choroid and its pathologies in post-mortem studies and in vivo are described—injection of chromopolimer, Indocyanine Green Angiografy, and Doppler flow studies. Age-related changes of choroid are analyzed. Alterations have been described in the various layers of the choroid, which are part of the physiologic aging process. In certain cases, they can cause disease, but sometimes the border between physiologic and pathologic age-related changes is very hard to identify. The choroid represents the preferential target of certain age-related diseases. In particular, we describe the physiopathology of age-related pathologies such as hypertension, diabetes, AMD, and atherosclerosis—so common in the elderly. In particular, diabetes and AMD represent the main causes of blindness in industrialized countries.

Keywords

choroid aging age-related macular disease choroidopaty hypertensive choroidopathy 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are happy to acknowledge Prof Fernando Galassi (Clinica Oculistica, Universita di Firenze) for his contribution to the color Doppler imaging section of this chapter.

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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angelica Cerulli
    • 1
  • Federico Regine
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Carella
    • 2
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyUniversity of Rome “Tor Vergata,”RomeItaly
  2. 2.San Raffaele Hospital, Department of Ophthalmology and Vision SciencesUniversity of MilanMilanItaly

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