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Perle TUMAHAI, meillat mathieu, Melanie Bidaut-garnier, Guillaume Debellemaniere, Mathieu Flores, Michel Montard, Bernard Delbosc, Maher Saleh; High resolution imaging of photoreceptors in healthy humans of different ages eyes using RTX-1 ™ Adaptive Optics Retinal camera. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):3438.
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To determine age-related macular photoreceptor density changes in healthy patients of various ages.
Observational case series. Healthy subjects with no retinal pathology or systemic affection were included. High myopic patients were excluded. All patients underwent a full ophthalmologic examination, SD-OCT imaging, and imaging with the RTX-1 ™ Adaptive Optics (AO) retinal camera from Imagine eyes® (Orsay, France). Mean cone density (cells/mm2) at a fixed distance from the fovea (1° nasally and temporally), spacing between cells (µm) and % of hexagonal cells calculated on Voronoi diagrams, were obtained using AODetect v. 0.1, the proprietary software of the device.
58 normal eyes of 35 patients were studied. Mean age was 34.45±2.5 y (min-max: 10-78y). The mean cone density reached 24039±2914.5 cells/mm2. It decreased with age (R2=0.21, p<0.001). Patients above 50 y lost 17.5% of the cone density compared to patients under 15 y (t-test, p=0.003). Spacing between cells (mean±SD: 7.31±0.56µm) increased with age (R2 =0.15, p=0.002), while the percentage of hexagonal cells (mean±SD: 43.93±3.8 %) moderately decreased (R2 =0.07, p=0.04). Cone density was slightly correlated to the thickness of the photoreceptor layer on OCT (distance between IS/OS and ELM hyperreflective lines) (R2= 0.08, p=0.04) but neither with central macular thickness nor choroidal thickness.
Macular cone density decreased with age. The consequences of this finding on visual acuity as well as the meaning of spacing between cells and rate of hexagonal cells in the macula are not known yet.
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