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Hanna Faber, Ulrike Ernemann, Helmut Sachs, Florian Gekeler, Søren Danz, Assen Koitschev, Dorothea Besch, Karl-Ulrich Bartz-Schmidt, Eberhart Zrenner, Katarina Stingl, Christoph Kernstock; CT Assessment of Intraorbital Cable Movement of Electronic Subretinal Prosthesis in Three Different Surgical Approaches. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2021;10(8):16. https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.10.8.16.
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Electronic retinal implants restore some visual perception in patients blind from retinitis pigmentosa. Eye movements cause mechanical stress in intraorbital power supply cables leading to cable breaks. By using computer tomography (CT) scans at the extreme positions of the four cardinal gaze directions, this study determined in vivo, which of three surgical routing techniques results in minimal bending radius variation and favors durability.
Nine patients received the first-generation subretinal implant Alpha IMS (Retina Implant AG, Reutlingen, Germany) in one eye. Three techniques for intraorbital cable routing were used (straight cable route (A), parabulbar loop (B), and encircling band (C)), each in three patients. All patients underwent computer tomography of the orbital region. The bending radius of the intraorbital cable was measured with the DICOM viewer Osirix v4.1.2 (Pixmeo SARL, Bernex, Switzerland) and served as indicator for mechanical stress.
Average bending radius variation was 87% for method A, 11% for method B, and 16% for method C. Methods A and B (P = 0.001) and methods A and C (P = 0.001) differed significantly, while method B and C showed no statistical difference (P = 0.074).
Compared to straight routes, arcuated cable routes significantly reduce cable movement and bending. Due to an easier surgical procedure, a parabulbar loop is the preferred method to minimize bending radius variation and prolong survival time of electronic subretinal implants.
CT analysis of cable bending of implanted medical devices allows to determine which surgical routing technique favors durability in vivo.
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