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Ethan A. Rossi, Nathaniel Norberg, Chiara Eandi, Celine Chaumette, Saloni Kapoor, Laura Le, Valerie C. Snyder, Joseph N. Martel, Josselin Gautier, Kiyoko Gocho, Kunal K. Dansingani, Jay Chhablani, Angelo Arleo, Sarah Mrejen, José-Alain Sahel, Kate Grieve, Michel Paques; A New Method for Visualizing Drusen and Their Progression in Flood-Illumination Adaptive Optics Ophthalmoscopy. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2021;10(14):19. https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.10.14.19.
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Drusen are dynamic sub-RPE deposits that are risk factors for late-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Here we show a new imaging method using flood-illumination adaptive optics (FIAO) that reveal drusen with high contrast and resolution.
A fovea-centered 4° × 4° FIAO image and eight surrounding images with gaze displaced by ±2° vertically and horizontally were acquired. Clinical color fundus and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography were acquired for clinical grading and comparison. Custom software registered overlapping FIAO images and fused the data statistically to generate a fovea-centered 4° × 4° gaze-dependent image. Our dataset included 15 controls (aged 31–72) and 182 eyes from 104 AMD patients (aged 56–92), graded as either normal aging (n = 7), and early (n = 12), intermediate (n = 108) and late AMD (n = 42); 27 had subretinal drusenoid deposits (SDDs), and 83 were imaged longitudinally.
No gaze varying structures were detected in young eyes. In aging eyes with no evidence of age-related changes, putative drusen <20 µm in diameter were visible. Gaze-dependent images revealed more drusen and many smaller drusen than visible in color fundus images. Longitudinal images showed expansion and fusion of drusen. SDDs were lower contrast, and RPE atrophy did not yield a consistent signal.
Gaze-dependent imaging in a commercially available FIAO fundus camera combined with image registration and postprocessing permits visualization of drusen and their progression with high contrast and resolution.
This new technique offers promise as a robust and sensitive method to detect, map, quantify, and monitor the dynamics of drusen in aging and AMD.
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