Wide-field fundus autofluorescence imaging of retinitis pigmentosa

Ophthalmology. 2013 Sep;120(9):1827-34. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2013.01.050. Epub 2013 Apr 28.


Purpose: To evaluate the clinical usefulness of wide-field fundus autofluorescence (FAF) imaging in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

Design: Cross-sectional case series.

Participants: Seventy-five eyes of 75 patients with RP.

Methods: We examined the eyes of the RP patients using the Optos 200Tx imaging system (Optos PLC, Dunfermline, United Kingdom) and identified abnormal FAF patterns such as ring hyperautofluorescence and patchy hypoautofluorescent areas. Patients with hyperautofluorescent rings or foveal hyperautofluorescence were compared with those without such findings. We determined the percentage area occupied by the FAF abnormalities within a defined region of the eye and examined the relationship between the percentage area of these abnormalities and the visual field area. Moreover, we categorized the patients into 3 different groups based on the presence of a patchy hypoautofluorescent lesion larger than 1 disc diameter: Group A consisted of those with patchy lesions smaller than 1 disc diameter, group B consisted of those with patchy lesions larger than 1 disc diameter but present in only 1 quadrant, and group C consisted of those with patchy lesions larger than 1 disc diameter and present in more than 1 quadrant. In addition, various clinical characteristics were compared among these 3 groups.

Main outcome measures: Predicting the visual field size and duration of the disease in RP patients based on FAF patterns.

Results: Patients without hyperautofluorescent rings or foveal hyperautofluorescence had better visual acuity or mean deviation measured with a Humphrey perimeter. The total area of the abnormal FAF image correlated with the visual field area measured with a Goldmann perimeter (R = -0.64, P<0.001). The individuals with the large patchy hypofluorescent areas (i.e., larger than 1 disc diameter) were older than those with small patchy hypofluorescent areas (group A vs. groups B and C, P = 0.002 and P<0.001, respectively) and had experienced the symptoms for longer durations (group A vs. groups B and C, P<0.05 and P<0.001, respectively).

Conclusions: We can estimate the visual field in patients with RP using the objective measurements from wide-field FAF. The presence of patchy hypofluorescent lesions can be used an indicator of the duration of RP.

Financial disclosure(s): The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography*
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa / diagnosis*
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa / physiopathology
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Visual Field Tests
  • Visual Fields / physiology*
  • Young Adult