Programm                 "Degeneration und Regeneration– Grundlagen, Diagnostik und Therapie"

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Value of Retinal Pigment-Epithelium Autofluorescence in Inherited Retinal Dystrophies

Tillack H., Richter M., Kraus H., Kellner U., Foerster M. H.
Dept. of Ophthalmology, University Clinical Centre Benjamin Franklin, Free University Berlin

Purpose: The measurement of the autofluorescence is a new tool for the morphologic evaluation of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Based on the importance of the photoreceptor-RPE complex in inherited retinal dystrophies RPE autofluorescence was examined prospectively in a series of patients with inherited retinal dystrophies.
Method: Between March 2001 and December 2002 RPE autofluorescence was measured in 164 patients with different inherited retinal dystrophies using the Heidelberg Retina Angiograph.
Results: Eigthy-nine males and 75 females with an mean age of 44.5 (6.8-81.0) years were included in the study. In 88% of theses patients the autofluorescence indicated RPE abnormalities by either increased or reduced fluorescence. Different patterns could be observed depending on the various disorders. A perifoveal ring of increased autofluorescence was detected in 19/34 (56%) of patients with retinitis pigmentosa, in 10/13 (77%) of patients with Usher syndrome and in 9/23 (39%) of patients with cone-rod dystrophy. In all patients with adult vitelliform macular dystrophy (n=11) fluorescence was elevated within the yellow lesion. In contrast, yellow flecks in Stargardt disease presented with variable fluorescence. In 5/9 (56%) patients with stationary retinal dysfunction autofluorescence was normal.
Conclusions: Me

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