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Janet S. Sunness, Abraham Ifrah, Robert Wolf, Carol A. Applegate, Janet R. Sparrow; Abnormal Visual Function Outside the Area of Atrophy Defined by Short-Wavelength Fundus Autofluorescence in Stargardt Disease. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(4):36. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.61.4.36.
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To examine the extent of visual function abnormality outside the dark lesion on short-wavelength fundus autofluorescence (SW-AF), and its correlation with background SW-AF features and optical coherence tomography (OCT) in recessive Stargardt disease (STGD1)
Forty-nine eyes of 25 participants in the ProgStar (the Natural History of the Progression of Atrophy Secondary to Stargardt Disease) study at our center were included. Patients underwent microperimetry (both threshold and dense scotoma mapping), OCT, SW-AF, and visual acuity testing. The Fisher's exact test, the χ2 test, and unpaired t-tests were used to analyze the data.
Of 40 eyes without central fixation, 33 (82%) placed fixation remote (most ≥5°) from the dense scotoma edge, despite good intervening retinal sensitivity. OCT findings accounted for the remote fixation in 75%. Eighteen (37%) of all 49 eyes had dense scotoma extending past the dark lesion border. OCT was not adequate to define the edge of the scotoma. Of the 49 eyes, 28 (57%) had the mottled background pattern, 10 (20%) had the uniform pattern, and 11 (22%) had the other pattern, with >75% of eyes in each pattern having remote fixation. The dense scotoma exceeded the dark lesion primarily in the mottled pattern. The two eyes of each patient were concordant in all features.
Functional abnormalities in STGD1 extend past the SW-AF dark lesion. The disruption of the ellipsoid zone shows that photoreceptor abnormality extends peripheral to the dark lesion, and it explains in part the remote fixation pattern and the dense scotoma exceeding the dark lesion. This has implications for clinical trials for STGD1.
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