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Vivienne C. Greenstein, Ari D. Schuman, Winston Lee, Tobias Duncker, Jana Zernant, Rando Allikmets, Donald C. Hood, Janet R. Sparrow; Near-Infrared Autofluorescence: Its Relationship to Short-Wavelength Autofluorescence and Optical Coherence Tomography in Recessive Stargardt Disease. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(5):3226-3234. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-16050.
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© 2016 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
We compared hypoautofluorescent (hypoAF) areas detected with near-infrared (NIR-AF) and short-wavelength autofluorescence (SW-AF) in patients with recessive Stargardt disease (STGD1) to retinal structure using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT).
The SD-OCT volume scans, and SW-AF and NIR-AF images were obtained from 15 eyes of 15 patients with STGD1 and registered to each other. Thickness maps of the total retina, receptor-plus layer (R+, from distal border of the RPE to outer plexiform/inner nuclear layer boundary), and outer segment-plus layer (OS+, from distal border of the RPE to ellipsoid zone [EZ] band) were created from SD-OCT scans. These were compared qualitatively and quantitatively to the hypoAF areas in SW-AF and NIR-AF images.
All eyes showed a hypoAF area in the central macula and loss of the EZ band in SD-OCT scans. The hypoAF area was larger in NIR than SW-AF images and it exceeded the area of EZ band loss for 12 eyes. The thickness maps showed progressive thinning towards the central macula, with the OS+ layer showing the most extensive and severe thinning. The central hypoAF areas on NIR corresponded to the OS+ thinned areas, while the hypoAF areas on SW-AF corresponded to the R+ thinned areas.
Since the larger hypoAF area on NIR-AF exceeded the region of EZ band loss, and corresponded to the OS+ thinned area, RPE cell loss occurred before photoreceptor cell loss. The NIR-AF imaging may be an effective tool for following progression and predicting loss of photoreceptors in STGD1.
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