Adaptive optics ophthalmoscopy: Application to age-related macular degeneration and vascular diseases

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Adaptive optics (AO)-enhanced en face retinal imaging, termed here AO ophthalmoscopy (AOO) has reached a level of robustness which fuels its increasing use in research and clinical centers. Here we will review the contribution of clinical AOO to the understanding and monitoring of 1) age-related macular degeneration and 2) vascular diseases. The main contributions of AOO to the phenotyping of AMD are a better identification of drusen, a better delineation of the limits of atrophy, and the identification of novel features such as punctate hyperreflectivity and mobile melanin-containing clumps. Characterization of progression of atrophy is facilitated by time-lapse imaging. In vessels, AOO enables the observation and measurement of parietal structures and the observation of microscopic pathological features such as small hemorrhages and inflammatory cell accumulations.

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