Quantitative fundus autofluorescence for the evaluation of retinal diseases

Stephen T. Armenti, Jonathan P. Greenberg, R. Theodore Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is juxtaposed to the overlying sensory retina, and supports the function of the visual system. Among the tasks performed by the RPE are phagocytosis and processing of outer photoreceptor segments through lysosome-derived organelles. These degradation products, stored and referred to as lipofuscin granules, are composed partially of bisretinoids, which have broad fluorescence absorption and emission spectra that can be detected clinically as fundus autofluorescence with confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (cSLO). Lipofuscin accumulation is associated with increasing age, but is also found in various patterns in both acquired and inherited degenerative diseases of the retina. Thus, studying its pattern of accumulation and correlating such patterns with changes in the overlying sensory retina are essential to understanding the pathophysiology and progression of retinal disease. Here, we describe a technique employed by our lab and others that uses cSLO in order to quantify the level of RPE lipofuscin in both healthy and diseased eyes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere53577
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number109
StatePublished - 11 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Confocal scanning laser ophthalmoloscopy
  • Issue 109
  • Lipofuscin
  • Medicine
  • Quantitative autofluorescence
  • Retina
  • Retinal pigment epithelium


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