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Moritz Lindner, Joana Czauderna, Athanasios Bezatis, Eva Becker, Christian Karl Brinkmann, Rolf Fimmes, Steffen Schmitz-Valckenberg, Frank G Holz, Monika Fleckenstein, FAM Study Group; Choroidal thickness in geographic atrophy associated with age-related macular degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):5887.
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To compare choroidal thickness (CT) in different subtypes of geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with normal controls.
A total of 42 eyes of 42 patients (mean age 76.2±6.5 y) with GA and 31 eyes of 31 healthy controls (mean age 75.6±6.4 y) were examined by confocal scanning-laser-ophthalmoscopy (cSLO) and EDI (enhanced depth imaging) SD-OCT (Spectralis, Heidelberg Engineering, Germany). CT was measured at 26 defined points in horizontal and vertical EDI-OCT scans for each patient. GA subtypes were classified based on abnormal FAF patterns surrounding the atrophic lesions as previsouly published (Holz et al.; Am J Ophthalmol 2007).
Mean CT was significantly thinner in eyes with GA (168.47±88 µm) as compared to control eyes (215.5±55.6 µm, p=0.011). In the GA group, patients with the ‘diffuse trickling’ subtype (n=7, 108.7±31.9 µm) exhibited a significantly thinner CT as compared to other GA subtypes (‘non-diffuse trickling’ GA, n=35, 180.7±91.0 µm, p=0.047). Difference in CT between the ‘non-diffuse trickling’ GA eyes and control eyes were substantially less pronounced.
The results indicate that the choroid in eyes with GA is thinner compared to normal eyes of similar age. However, this effect appears to be mainly driven by a specific GA subtype (‘diffuse trickling’). Refined phenotypic classification of eyes with advanced dry AMD appears prudent when choroidal thickness is assessed and compared. GA-subtype related differences in choroidal thickness may reflect a heterogenous underlying pathogenesis.
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