To investigate fundus autofluorescence (FAF) patterns in patients with nonexudative age-related macular degeneration
(AMD) and to test if FAF patterns affect the development of choroidal neovascularization
One hundred one patients with early AMD underwent a detailed ophthalmological examination. Fundus autofluorescence imaging
was performed with a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope following a standard protocol. The classification of the International Fundus Autofluorescence Classification Group was used for the description of the FAF patterns.
One hundred seventy-eight eyes of 101 patients (59 women, 42 men) with a mean (±SD) age of 66.4 (±6.1) years were included. The mean (±SD) follow-up was 41.3 (±27) months. One hundred seventy-eight eyes presented various types of drusen with or without hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation at initial examination. During follow-up, a total of 22 (12.3%) eyes developed CNV. The most frequent pattern for CNV development was the patchy pattern in 30.4%, followed by linear in 25%, and reticular pattern in 20.8% of eyes.
Conclusions Fundus autofluorescence imaging
using a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope is a useful technique to identify FAF characteristics in patients with nonexudative AMD. Different patterns of FAF abnormalities can be obtained in these eyes. Our results indicate that patchy, linear, and reticular patterns are the specific patterns associated with CNV development in nonexudative AMD.