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Benjamin K. Young, Kyle D. Kovacs, Ron A. Adelman; Fractal Dimension Analysis of Widefield Choroidal Vasculature as Predictor of Stage of Macular Degeneration. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(7):22. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.7.22.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To evaluate the fractal dimension (Df) of the choroidal vasculature using widefield indocyanine green (ICG) angiography and correlate it with the stage of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Widefield ICG angiography performed on 38 eyes was retrospectively analyzed using the FracLac application within the National Institutes of Health ImageJ software to determine regional fractal dimensions in the macular field and widefield. These values were then associated with a diagnosis of no AMD, non-exudative AMD (subdivided into early/intermediate stage vs. advanced stage), or exudative AMD (subdivided into with or without geographic atrophy). The mean values were compared using Wilcoxon's test.
Early/intermediate non-exudative AMD and exudative AMD without geographic atrophy were found to have statistically significantly lower Df values compared to an absence of AMD when examining the macular field. Exudative AMD with geographic atrophy was found to have a statistically significant lower choroidal fractal dimension compared to no AMD when studied in the widefield.
Advanced stages of macular degeneration were found to have significantly decreased the fractal dimensions of choroidal vasculature on widefield ICG compared to early/intermediate stages, possibly implying a generalized reduction in complexity and/or vessel caliber of the choroid with advancing stage of AMD. This finding agrees with previous understanding of the development of choriocapillaris atrophy in advanced macular degeneration.
These findings suggest that using automated fractal analysis techniques can aid in differentiating stages of macular degeneration and, with further study, may be used to predict advancement of macular degeneration.
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