The identity of vitreoretinal interface macrophage-like cells (MLCs) remains unknown and potential candidates include retinal microglia, perivascular macrophages, monocyte-derived macrophages, and/or vitreal hyalocytes. Since hyalocytes are detectable on the posterior vitreous surface after vitreous extraction in animals, we imaged patients with and without posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) to determine if hyalocytes are the principal MLC component. We performed repeated foveal-centered 3 × 3 mm OCT-A images from 21 eyes (11 no PVD and 10 PVD eyes). Images were registered, segmented, and averaged. The OCT slab from 0 to 3 microns above the internal limiting membrane was used to detect MLCs. We calculated MLC density and distribution in relation to the superficial vascular plexus for 3 vascular regions—on vessels, perivascular, and non-vascular. MLC density was 1.8-fold greater in the PVD group compared to the no PVD group (P = 0.04). MLCs in eyes with PVD were increased 1.9-fold on-vessel (P = 0.07), 1.9-fold in the perivascular region (P = 0.12), and 2.2-fold in non-vascular areas (P = 0.22). MLC density was not severely reduced after PVD, suggesting that the majority of MLCs are not vitreal hyalocytes. PVD status is an important parameter in future MLC studies.
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