To quantify retinal fluorescence lifetimes in patients with central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC) and to identify disease specific lifetime characteristics over the course of disease.Methods:
Forty-seven participants were included in this study. Patients with central serous chorioretinopathy were imaged with fundus photography, fundus autofluorescence, optical coherence tomography, and fluorescence lifetime imaging ophthalmoscopy (FLIO) and compared with age-matched controls. Retinal autofluorescence was excited using a 473-nm blue laser light and emitted fluorescence light was detected in 2 distinct wavelengths channels (498–560 nm and 560–720 nm). Clinical features, mean retinal autofluorescence lifetimes, autofluorescence intensity, and corresponding optical coherence tomography (OCT) images were further analyzed.Results:
Thirty-five central serous chorioretinopathy patients with a mean visual acuity of 78 ETDRS letters (range, 50–90; mean Snellen equivalent: 20/32) and 12 age-matched controls were included. In the acute stage of central serous chorioretinopathy, retinal fluorescence lifetimes were shortened by 15% and 17% in the respective wavelength channels. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that fluorescence lifetimes were significantly influenced by the disease duration (P < 0.001) and accumulation of photoreceptor outer segments (P = 0.03) but independent of the presence or absence of subretinal fluid. Prolonged central macular autofluorescence lifetimes, particularly in eyes with retinal pigment epithelial atrophy, were associated with poor visual acuity.Conclusion:
This study establishes that autofluorescence lifetime changes occurring in central serous chorioretinopathy exhibit explicit patterns which can be used to estimate perturbations of the outer retinal layers with a high degree of statistical significance.