Pseudodrusen subtypes as delineated by multimodal imaging of the fundus

Am J Ophthalmol. 2014 May;157(5):1005-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2014.01.025. Epub 2014 Feb 3.


Purpose: To subclassify pseudodrusen based on their appearance in multimodal imaging.

Design: Retrospective, observational series.

Methods: The color fundus photographs and infrared scanning laser ophthalmoscope (IR-SLO) images of patients with pseudodrusen were evaluated along with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD OCT) by masked readers. Distinct types of pseudodrusen could be differentiated.

Results: There were 140 eyes of 93 patients with a mean age of 82.4 years. Multimodal imaging analysis showed 3 subtypes of pseudodrusen. One principal type was an orderly array of whitish discrete accumulations principally located in the perifovea, termed dot pseudodrusen. They appeared as hyporeflective spots, often with a target configuration, in IR-SLO images. The second type was interconnected bands of yellowish-white material forming a reticular pattern, called ribbon pseudodrusen, which were located in the perifovea. This subtype was faintly hyporeflective in IR-SLO imaging. Dot pseudodrusen were detected more commonly with IR-SLO imaging than in color photography (P = .014) and ribbon pseudodrusen were seen more frequently in color than in IR-SLO images (P < .001). An uncommon third type of pseudodrusen, yellow-white globules primarily located peripheral to the perifoveal region, appeared hyper-reflective in IR-SLO and were called peripheral pseudodrusen. All 3 types were seen as subretinal drusenoid deposits by SD OCT.

Conclusion: Pseudodrusen may be classified into at least 3 categories, each with optimal methods of detection and only 1 that formed a reticular pattern. These findings suggest pseudodrusen could contain differing constituents and therefore may vary in conferred risk for progression to advanced age-related macular disease.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multimodal Imaging / methods*
  • Ophthalmoscopy
  • Photography
  • Retinal Drusen / classification*
  • Retinal Drusen / diagnosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence