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Chantal Dysli, Sebastian Wolf, Martin S. Zinkernagel; Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging in Retinal Artery Occlusion. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(5):3329-3336. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-16203.
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Fluorescence lifetime imaging ophthalmoscopy is a technique to measure decay times of endogenous retinal fluorophores. The purpose of this study was to investigate fluorescence lifetimes in eyes with central and branch retinal artery occlusion.
Twenty-four patients with central or branch retinal artery occlusion were included in this study. The contralateral unaffected fellow eye was used as control. Measurements were performed using a fluorescence lifetime imaging ophthalmoscope based on a HRA Spectralis system. Fluorescence excitation wavelength was 473 nm, and mean lifetimes were measured in a short (498–560 nm) and in a long (560–720 nm) spectral channel. Fluorescence lifetimes in the area of retinal artery occlusion were measured and compared to corresponding areas in contralateral unaffected eyes. Additionally, findings were correlated to optical coherence tomography measurements.
Retinal lifetime images of 24 patients with retinal artery occlusion were analyzed. Mean retinal fluorescence lifetimes were prolonged by 50% in the short and 20% in the long spectral channel in ischemic retinal areas up to 3 days after retinal artery occlusion compared to the contralateral unaffected eyes. In the postacute disease stage there was no difference between the lifetimes of affected areas and unaffected fellow eyes.
Retinal artery occlusion leads to significantly longer fluorescence lifetimes of the retina in the acute phase and may serve as a useful indicator for acute ischemic retinal damage.
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