Fundus autofluorescence in patients with macular holes imaged with a laser scanning ophthalmoscope

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To demonstrate the usefulness of a recently developed technique of imaging fundus autofluorescence and to compare it with the results of fluorescein angiography in the diagnosis and staging of macular holes.


The intensity and distribution of fundus autofluorescence was studied in 51 patients with idiopathic macular holes and pseudoholes using a confocal laser scanning ophthalmoscope (cLSO) and the images were compared with those obtained by fundus fluorescein angiography.


Autofluorescence imaging demonstrated bright fluorescence of macular holes with appearance similar to that obtained by fluorescein angiography. In contrast macular pseuodoholes showed no such autofluorescence. The attached operculum in stage 2 macular holes and the preretinal operculum in stage 3 macular holes showed focal decreased autofluorescence. The associated retinal elevation and the cuff of subretinal fluid were less fluorescent compared with the background autofluorescence of the normal fellow eyes. Following successful surgical treatment the autofluorescence of the macular holes was no longer visible.


Autofluorescence imaging with the cLSO makes the assessment of macular holes possible with an accuracy comparable with that of fluorescein angiography. Being non-invasive and rapid, autofluorescence imaging may become a useful alternative to fluorescein angiography in the assessment and the differential diagnosis of full thickness macular holes.

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