THE VALUE OF RETINAL IMAGING WITH INFRARED SCANNING LASER OPHTHALMOSCOPY IN PATIENTS WITH STARGARDT DISEASE

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Abstract

Purpose:

To demonstrate the value of infrared scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (SLO) for determining structural retinal and choroidal changes in patients with Stargardt disease and its comparison to findings on short-wavelength fundus autofluorescence (SW-AF) imaging, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, and microperimetry measurements.

Methods:

Forty-four eyes of 22 patients with Stargardt disease were studied using infrared-SLO, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, macular microperimetry, SW-AF, electroretinography, and fundus photography.

Results:

Although SW-AF imaging outlined the regions of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) atrophy (hypofluorescence) and enhanced the visibility of more funduscopically apparent flecks (hyperfluorescence), infrared-SLO imaging outlined the regions of choroidal, and RPE, atrophic changes. Degenerative changes in photoreceptor and RPE cell layers, evident on spectral-domain optical coherence tomography imaging, were associated with either hyporeflective or hyperreflective images on infrared-SLO imaging, depending on whether both RPE and choroidal atrophy (hyperreflectance) or solely RPE atrophy (hyporeflectance) was present. Threshold elevations on microperimetry testing corresponded to both RPE and choroidal atrophy on infrared-SLO imaging and RPE atrophy on SW-AF.

Conclusion:

Although SW-AF identifies regions of RPE atrophy, infrared-SLO also identifies the involvement of the choroid that has important implications for the potential improvement in visual function from treatment. Thus, infrared-SLO imaging offers an additional advantage beyond that obtained with SW-AF.

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