A major point of the retrospective study by Mintz-Hittner et al25 was that humans born before 30 weeks' gestation will have a small or absent FAZ, while those born after 36 weeks' gestation will have a normal-sized FAZ. These authors then conclude that the human FAZ forms by a blood vessel overgrowth of the incipient fovea followed by a clearing of this region owing to cell death between 30 and 36 weeks' gestation. Several points should be stressed about those conclusions. The first is that the FAZ was studied in 1- to 17-year-old eyes, not fetal eyes, so they provide no direct evidence for this postulated overgrowth during normal development. By contrast, in the present study, we show a clear FAZ at 26, 35, 37, 40, and 41 weeks' gestation, with no evidence of overgrowth. The second is that the FAZ was visualized in vivo by fluorescence angiography and no retinas were examined histologically. Although the angiograms are of high quality, they do not provide the fine resolution given by immunolabeled whole mounts. Finally, no evidence is presented for the postulated apoptotic pruning. Unpublished studies from our laboratory of FAZ development in macaque retinas found an extremely low level of apoptosis within perifoveal blood vessels and astrocytes at ages corresponding to human retinas at 30 to 36 weeks' gestation (Trent Sandercoe, PhD, MBBS, and J.M.P., unpublished data, 2002). Likewise, in macaque prenatal and postnatal foveae, Distler et al29 detected only low levels of apoptosis in astrocytes and did not report significant cell death in adjacent blood vessels. Furthermore, in an extensive morphological study of human retinal blood vessel development, Hughes et al24 describe vascular remodeling as a mechanism but report no evidence for extensive cell death. In our study, all infants, except one, died shortly after birth and, to the best of our knowledge, were at the correct gestational age and weight. Therefore, while the present population represents normal development, many of those in the previous study25 appear to show the effects of severe prematurity on foveal vascular development.