QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE INNER RETINAL LAYER THICKNESSES IN AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION USING CORRECTED OPTICAL COHERENCE TOMOGRAPHY SEGMENTATION

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Abstract

Purpose:

To characterize inner retinal damage in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) using high-resolution spectral domain optical coherence tomography images.

Methods:

Sixty eyes of 60 patients with AMD were categorized using the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) severity scale. Spectral domain optical coherence tomography images of these patients were quantified by manually correcting the segmentation of each retinal layer, including the retinal nerve fiber layer, ganglion cell layer, and inner plexiform layer to ensure accurate delineation of layers. The mean ganglion cell complex thickness values (ganglion cell layer + inner plexiform layer + retinal nerve fiber layer) were compared with 30 eyes of 30 healthy subjects.

Results:

Ninety percent of eyes (81 eyes) required manual correction of segmentation. Compared with healthy subjects, mean ganglion cell complex thicknesses significantly decreased in more advanced dry AMD eyes, and this decrease was predominantly related to a change in inner plexiform layer thickness. There was no significant difference in thickness-related measurements between milder dry AMD (AREDS-2) eyes and healthy eyes (P > 0.05).

Conclusion:

In patients with dry AMD, automatic optical coherence tomography segmentation algorithms may be erroneous. As the severity of dry AMD increases, the inner plexiform layer layer becomes thinned, suggesting that transsynaptic degeneration may be occurring, as the photoreceptor layer is affected by AMD.

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