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Tobias Duncker, Marcela Marsiglia, Winston Lee, Jana Zernant, Stephen H. Tsang, Rando Allikmets, Vivienne C. Greenstein, Janet R. Sparrow; Correlations Among Near-Infrared and Short-Wavelength Autofluorescence and Spectral-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography in Recessive Stargardt Disease. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(12):8134-8143. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-14848.
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Short-wavelength (SW) fundus autofluorescence (AF) is considered to originate from lipofuscin in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and near-infrared (NIR) AF from melanin. In patients with recessive Stargardt disease (STGD1), we correlated SW-AF and NIR-AF with structural information obtained by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT).
Twenty-four STGD1 patients (45 eyes; age 8 to 61 years) carrying confirmed disease-associated ABCA4 mutations were studied prospectively. Short-wavelength AF, NIR-AF, and SD-OCT images were acquired.
Five phenotypes were identified according to features of the central lesion and extent of fundus change. Central zones of reduced NIR-AF were typically larger than areas of diminished SW-AF and reduced NIR-AF usually approximated areas of ellipsoid zone (EZ) loss identified by SD-OCT (group 1; r, 0.93, P < 0.0001). In patients having a central lesion with overlapping parafoveal rings of increased NIR-AF and SW-AF (group 3), the extent of EZ loss was strongly correlated with the inner diameter of the NIR-AF ring (r, 0.89, P < 0.0001) and the eccentricity of the outer border of the NIR-AF ring was greater than that of the SW-AF ring.
Lesion areas were more completely delineated in NIR-AF images than with SW-AF. In most cases, EZ loss was observed only at locations where NIR-AF was reduced or absent, indicating that RPE cell atrophy occurs in advance of photoreceptor cell degeneration. Because SW-AF was often increased within the central area of EZ disruption, degenerating photoreceptor cells may produce lipofuscin at accelerated levels. Consideration is given to mechanisms underlying hyper–NIR-AF in conjunction with increased SW-AF.
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