A comparison of fundus autofluorescence and retinal structure in patients with stargardt disease

Nuno L. Gomes, Vivienne C. Greenstein, Joshua N. Carlson, Stephen H. Tsang, R. Theodore Smith, Ronald E. Carr, Donald C. Hood, Stanley Chang

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113 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To improve the understanding of Stargardt disease by comparing structural changes seen on spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SOCT) to those visible on fundus autofluorescence (FAF). METHODS. FAF and SD-OCT were performed on 22 eyes of 11 patients with Stargardt disease. SD-OCT images were obtained at the fovea and at the eccentric preferred retinal locus (PRL). The diameters of absent (hypoautofluorescence) and abnormal FAF areas were measured. The extent of the transverse defect of the junction between the inner and outer segments of the photoreceptors (IS-OS) was measured in the foveal area. The PRL was evaluated with fundus photography and microperimetry. RESULTS. Twenty-one of 22 eyes showed defective FAF. In 17 eyes, FAF was absent in the fovea and in four eyes, FAF was abnormal. All eyes showed disorganization and/or loss of the IS-OS junction in the foveal area on SD-OCT. The diameter of the absent FAF area was smaller than the measurement of the IS-OS junction loss; the latter was closer to the diameter of the abnormal FAF area. Seventeen eyes had an eccentric PRL associated with a retinal area with no defects on FAF. CONCLUSIONS. In the majority of eyes, changes shown by SD-OCT correlated well with changes in FAF. However, in three patients, photoreceptor abnormalities were seen in the fovea on SD-OCT without an equivalent abnormality on FAF. This result suggests that in these patients, the structural integrity of the photoreceptors may be affected earlier than changes in the RPE at least as detected by FAF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3953-3959
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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