The Minnesota Grading System of eye bank eyes for age-related macular degeneration

Timothy W. Olsen, Xiao Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. The Minnesota Grading System (MGS) is a method to evaluate human eye bank eyes and determine the level of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), by using criteria and definitions from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). METHODS. Donor eyes (108 pairs) from the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank were cut circumferentially at the pars plana to remove the anterior segment. A 1000 ± 2.5-μm ruby sphere was placed on the optic nerve as a size reference. A digital, high-resolution, color macular photograph was taken through a dissecting microscope. The neurosensory retina was removed from one globe of the pair. The underlying retinal pigment epithelium was rephotographed, localizing the fovea with a proportional triangle. A grid was superimposed in the macular photographs and images were graded according to AREDS criteria. Twenty pairs were dissected bilaterally and graded for symmetry. RESULTS. Eighty-eight globes were graded into one of four MGS categories. Nineteen (95%) of 20 globes had symmetric grades. CONCLUSIONS. The MGS provides a methodology to grade donor tissue from eye bank eyes to correspond to the AREDS classification system. Donor tissue may be used for subsequent molecular analysis, including genomics and proteomics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4484-4490
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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