Aim: The aim of the study was the analysis of reticular drusen (RDR) in patients with age-related macular degeneration using simultaneous confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (cSLO) and spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) at different time points.
Methods: Included in this retrospective analysis were 47 eyes from 32 patients (median age 80.1 years, range 66-89 years) with RDR at baseline and at least one follow-up visit. Registration of the cSLO near-infrared reflectance image and the SD-OCT B-scan (Spectralis HRA + OCT, Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg) at different time points was carried out using the AutoRescan tool.
Results: While either no alterations or increase in the RDR area (n=19 eyes) or RDR density (n=15) were seen by cSLO imaging, the analysis of the SD-OCT B-scans at different time points revealed a more complex picture. An increase in two well visible lesions at the baseline visit was detected in 8 eyes at the first follow-up and in 3 eyes at the second follow-up examination. A regression was seen in 5 eyes at the first follow-up and in 3 eyes at the second follow-up visit. In most eyes (n=23), an increase of one with a parallel decrease of the second RDR lesion in the identical B-scan was identified at the first follow-up visit, whereas individual RDR showed an increase at the second follow-up examination that had initially shown a decrease in size at the first follow-up visit.
Conclusions: The results indicate underlying dynamic processes in the development and changes of RDR over time. For a more accurate analysis, the exact registration of SD-OCT B-scans at different time points and the use of high-resolution very dense volume scans would be helpful in order to assess such discrete changes of miniscule intraretinal lesions over time.