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Nikolai Kleefeldt, Katharina Bermond, Ioana-Sandra Tarau, Jost Hillenkamp, Andreas Berlin, Kenneth R. Sloan, Thomas Ach; Quantitative Fundus Autofluorescence: Advanced Analysis Tools. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(8):2. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.8.2.
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To use multimodal retinal images (including quantitative fundus autofluorescence [QAF]) for spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT)-based image registration and alignment. For each age decade of healthy adults, normative fine-grained QAF retinal maps are generated and advanced methods for QAF image analysis are applied.
Multimodal retinal images were obtained from 103 healthy subjects (age 19–77 years; unremarkable retina/macula, age-appropriate clear optic media). Custom written FIJI plugins enabled: (1) determination of the fovea in SD-OCT and the edge of the optic disc in infrared (IR) images; (2) alignment and superimposition of multimodal retinal images based on foveal and optic disc position; (3) plotting of normative QAF retinal maps for each decade; and (4) comparison of individual retinas with normative retinas of different decades using newly introduced analysis patterns (QAF97, freehand tool).
SD-OCT based image registration enables easy image registration, alignment, and analysis of different modalities (QAF, IR, and SD-OCT here reported). In QAF, intensities significantly increase with age with two major inclines between the third/fourth and seventh/eighth decades. With aging, the parafoveal area of maximum QAF intensity slightly shifts from temporal-superior to temporal. Compared with standard QAF analysis, refined QAF analysis patterns reveal a more detailed analysis of QAF, especially in the diseased retina.
Age-related QAF normative retinal maps can be used to directly compare and classify individual's QAF intensities. Advanced QAF analysis tools will further help to interpret autofluorescence changes in normal aging and in the diseased retina in a multimodal imaging setting.
Advanced methods for QAF analysis link basic findings with clinical observations in normal aging and in the diseased macula.
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