Formation of drusen in the human eye

Tatsuro Ishibashi, Randi Patterson, Yoshitaka Ohnishi, Hajime Inomata, Stephen J. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


Light and electron microscopy of drusen formation in the human eye showed yellow-white spots in the fundus with two morphologic patterns: that of typical drusen and a nodular accumulation of cellular components beneath the retinal pigment epithelial cells. By electron microscopy, the progression of drusen formation could be classified into four stages. Stage I showed budding or evagination of retinal pigment epithelial cells into the subpigment epithelial space. This evaginated portion was connected to the retinal pigment epithelial cell cytoplasm and was surrounded by its basement membrane. In Stage II the evaginated portion of the cell was completely separate from the cytoplasm of its parent retinal pigment epithelial cell. In Stage III, the evaginated portion showed degeneration and disintegration. Finally, in Stage IV, an accumulation of vesicular, granular, tubular, and linear material was seen free within the nodular space beneath the retinal pigment epithelial cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-353
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 1986
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology


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