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Yao Wang, Kevin Firl, Tu Tran, Erik J Van Kuijk, Sandra Rocio Montezuma; Quantitative Fundus Autofluorescence in Smokers Compared to Non-smokers. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):4853.
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To quantitatively compare fundus autofluorescence in healthy retinae of smokers to nonsmokers.
This was a cross-sectional study conducted at the Minnesota State Fair from September 2-4th, 2016. Participants self-reported pertinent past medical and ocular history and underwent general eye examination as well as quantitative fundus autofluorescence (qAF) imaging with Spectralis confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope (cSLO; 488nm excitation; 30 degrees) equipped with an internal fluorescent reference. Two sets of images were obtained per eye. Stepwise multiple regression was used to examine the relationship between mean qAF values of the eight segments of middle ring and two smoking variables—positive smoking history and number of pack-years smoked.
Autofluorescence images were acquired from 54 smokers and 51 non-smokers (61 female, 44 male; age range: 18-78). Positive smoking history was associated with higher qAF values for the right eye, left eye, and composite of both eyes (p=0.034, 0.006, 0.005, respectively). Further, number of pack-years smoked was positively associated with qAF values of the right eye and composite of both eyes (p=0.038, 0.031 respectively). qAF of the left eye and pack-years smoked did not reach statistical significance (p=0.1). Older age and female sex were also associated with higher qAF levels. The repeatability coefficients between the first set and second set of images were +/-21% of their mean qAF values.
There was increased fluorophore-related qAF in smokers, with a tendency for qAF to increase with the number of pack-years smoked. Several large epidemiological studies have shown that smoking is significantly associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Oxidative damage induced by cigarette smoking could increase fluorophores like A2E and lipofuscin, thereby elevating the qAF level. While this does not provide direct evidence of increased lipofuscin accumulation in AMD, it does suggest higher levels of autofluorescent material in retinal pigment epithelium of smokers with increasing pack-years.
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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