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Maarjaliis Paavo, Winston Lee, John Merriam, Srilaxmi Bearelly, Stephen Tsang, Stanley Chang, Janet R. Sparrow; Intraretinal Correlates of Reticular Pseudodrusen Revealed by Autofluorescence and En Face OCT. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(11):4769-4777. https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.17-22338.
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We sought to determine whether information revealed from the reflectance, autofluorescence, and absorption properties of RPE cells situated posterior to reticular pseudodrusen (RPD) could provide insight into the origins and structure of RPD.
RPD were studied qualitatively by near-infrared fundus autofluorescence (NIR-AF), short-wavelength fundus autofluorescence (SW-AF), and infrared reflectance (IR-R) images, and the presentation was compared to horizontal and en face spectral domain optical coherence tomographic (SD-OCT) images. Images were acquired from 23 patients (39 eyes) diagnosed with RPD (mean age 80.7 ± 7.1 [SD]; 16 female; 4 Hispanics, 19 non-Hispanic whites).
In SW-AF, NIR-AF, and IR-R images, fundus RPD were recognized as interlacing networks of small scale variations in IR-R and fluorescence (SW-AF, NIR-AF) intensities. Darkened foci of RPD colocalized in SW-AF and NIR-AF images, and in SD-OCT images corresponded to disturbances of the interdigitation (IZ) and ellipsoid (EZ) zones and to more pronounced hyperreflective lesions traversing photoreceptor-attributable bands in SD-OCT images. Qualitative assessment of the outer nuclear layer (ONL) revealed thinning as RPD extended radially from the outer to inner retina. In en face OCT, hyperreflective areas in the EZ band correlated topographically with hyporeflective foci at the level of the RPE.
The hyperreflective lesions corresponding to RPD in SD-OCT scans are likely indicative of degenerating photoreceptor cells. The darkened foci at positions of RPD in NIR-AF and en face OCT images indicate changes in the RPE monolayer with the reduced NIR-AF and en face OCT signal suggesting a reduction in melanin that could be accounted for by RPE thinning.
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