Purpose: To determine whether baseline drusen load, as measured using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD OCT), is a useful predictor of development of advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Design: Retrospective cohort study.
Methods: setting: Academic clinical practice. study population: All patients with non-neovascular AMD and no retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) atrophy at baseline who were seen between 2007 and 2012 in a single academic retina practice. A minimum of 1 year of follow-up was required. observation: Drusen load (area and volume) was assessed using automated SD OCT software algorithms. main outcome measure: RPE atrophy area, assessed using an automated SD OCT software algorithm, and the development of neovascular AMD.
Results: Eighty-three patients met the inclusion criteria with a mean age of 80 years and a mean follow-up time of 2.8 years. Repeated-measures analysis of variance showed an association between drusen area (P = .005) and drusen volume (P = .001) and the development of RPE atrophy. We also found an association between drusen area (P = .001) and drusen volume (P = .001) and the development of neovascular AMD.
Conclusions: Drusen load, as measured using SD OCT, is associated with the development of RPE atrophy and neovascular AMD. SD OCT assessments of drusen load are simple and practical measurements that may be useful in stratifying the risk of developing advanced AMD. These measurements have potential applications in both routine clinical care and clinical trials.
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