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Chi Luu, Zhichao Wu, Lauren Ayton, Robyn Guymer; Reduction of the OCT second hyper-reflective band intensity is associated with a decreased in retinal function in eyes with age-related macular degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):4166.
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The second hyper-reflective band on spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) is thought to correlate with the anatomical location of the photoreceptor inner segment ellipsoids (ISe), which are densely packed with mitochondria. The purpose of this study was to determine the intensity of the ISe band in patients with early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and to correlate the ISe band intensity with retinal function.
Twenty-nine early AMD and thirty-one control subjects participated in this prospective observational study. A high-resolution horizontal line-scan through the fovea on SD-OCT and a multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) were performed in one eye of each participant. The intensity of the ISe band and external limiting membrane (ELM) within 1000µm of the fovea were quantified using ImageJ software. The average ISe band relative intensity (expressed as ISe/ELM ratio) of early AMD and control participants was compared. The relationship between the ISe band intensity and the mfERG response parameters (P1 amplitude and implicit time) was also determined.
In normal participants, the intensity of the ISe band was significantly reduced with age (r=-0.634, p<0.001). On average, the ISe band relative intensity of participants with early AMD (1.77 ± 0.26) was significantly lower than that of the control subjects (1.95 ± 0.27, p<0.001) after controlling for age. The ISe band relative intensity was significantly correlated with the mfERG P1 implicit time (r = -0.745, p<0.001) but not P1 response amplitude (r = 0.144, p=0.281).
Subjects with early AMD have a significant reduction in the relative intensity of the ISe band, which correlated with a reduction in retinal function. Further studies on the potential utility of the ISe band intensity as a novel biomarker to monitor AMD disease severity and progression are warranted.
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