Changes in fundus autofluorescence in patients with age-related maculopathy. Correlation to visual function: a prospective study

  • Wilma Einbock
  • Andreas Moessner
  • Ute E. K. Schnurrbusch
  • Frank G. Holz
  • Sebastian Wolf
  • for the FAM Study Group
Clinical Investigation



As members of the Fundus Autofluorescence in Age-related Macular Degeneration Study Group (FAM Study Group), we report changes of fundus autofluorescence (AF) in patients with multiple soft drusen in correlation to visual function.


Inclusion criteria were age >50 years, the presence of soft drusen, visual acuity of 20/100 or better, and no previous laser treatment in the study eye. All patients underwent a detailed ophthalmological examination including ETDRS visual acuity, binocular funduscopy, and color fundus photography. AF imaging was performed with a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope following a standard protocol. We used the classification of the International Fundus Autofluorescence Classification Group (IFAG) for the description of the AF patterns.


One hundred and twenty-five patients (81 women, 44 men) aged from 55 to 86 years (mean 70±7 years) were included in this prospective study. During follow-up (mean 18±6 months), 6 of 35 eyes with patchy AF pattern developed exudative changes, as well as 2 eyes with focal–plaque-like AF pattern and 1 eye with reticular pattern at baseline. Geographic atrophy was seen in two eyes with focal AF pattern and one eye with focal–plaque-like pattern at baseline. A total of 11 eyes presented with severe visual loss (≧6 ETDRS lines). Ten (91%) of these had patchy AF pattern.


Imaging of fundus AF in patients with age-related maculopathy allows identification of different patterns of fundus AF. Our preliminary data suggest that a patchy pattern of AF indicates a relatively high risk of progression to age-related macular degeneration with visual loss.


Retinal Pigment Epithelium Fundus Photography Geographic Atrophy Reticular Pattern Lipofuscin Granule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Supported by DFG AZ Wo478/10-1.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilma Einbock
    • 1
  • Andreas Moessner
    • 1
  • Ute E. K. Schnurrbusch
    • 1
  • Frank G. Holz
    • 2
  • Sebastian Wolf
    • 1
  • for the FAM Study Group
  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Department of OphthalmologyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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