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Lydia Sauer, Lukas Kreilkamp, Sven Peters, Daniel Meller, Paul S Bernstein, Martin Hammer; Time-resolved fundus autofluorescence in dry age-related macular degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):3399.
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The exact pathogenesis of drusen in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is not yet fully understood. By using fluorescence lifetime imaging ophthalmology (FLIO), we hope to detect molecular changes and gain more insight into the pathologies behind the disease.
82 eyes with non-exudative AMD, including 35 eyes with geographic atrophy (GA), were investigated. Drusen were identified according to fundus photography, OCT and fundus autofluorescence (FAF). Visual acuity and foveal involvement was analyzed. For FLIO image detection, Fluorescence was excited at 473 nm and recorded in a short (498-560 nm) and a long (560-720 nm) spectral channel. The amplitude-weighted mean fluorescence lifetime (τm) was utilized as the main parameter for statistical analysis. A t-test was used to test for significant differences.
Drusen did not only show prolonged FAF lifetimes as compared to healthy retina (approximately 40 ps longer, p<0,001), significant differences were also found when comparing different drusen types. The best differentiation was possible within the long spectral channel: soft drusen (τm: 364 ps ± 87 ps) showed longer FAF lifetimes than hard drusen (τm: 321 ps ± 82 ps).
With FLIO it is possible to characterize drusen types and distinguish those from healthy retina. As soft drusen, associated with AMD progression, show longer fluorescence decays than hard drusen, FLIO might give information about the individual risk for the development of late AMD.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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