Purpose: To assess the relationship between baseline age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and disease stage, as well as optical coherence tomography features seen in AMD, with 3-year changes in dark adaptation (DA).
Methods: Prospective longitudinal study including patients with AMD and a comparison group (n = 42 eyes, 27 patients). At baseline and 3 years, we obtained color fundus photographs, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, and rod-mediated DA (20 minutes protocol). Multilevel mixed-effect models were used for analyses, with changes in rod intercept time at 3 years as the primary outcome. As some eyes (n = 11) reached the DA testing ceiling value at baseline, we used 3-year changes in area under the DA curve as an additional outcome.
Results: Baseline AMD, AMD stage, and hyperreflective foci on optical coherence tomography were associated with larger changes in rod intercept time at 3 years. When change in area under the DA curve was used as an outcome, in addition to these features, the presence of retinal atrophy and drusenoid pigment epithelial detachment had significant associations. New subretinal drusenoid deposits at 3 years were also associated with more pronounced changes in rod intercept time and area under the DA curve.
Conclusion: Specific optical coherence tomography features are associated with DA impairments over time, which supports that structural changes predict functional loss over 3 years.