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Adaptive optics fundus images of cone photoreceptors in the macula of patients with retinitis pigmentosa

Authors Tojo N, Nakamura T, Fuchizawa C, Oiwake T, Hayashi A

Received 3 November 2012

Accepted for publication 19 December 2012

Published 23 January 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 203—210

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S39879

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Naoki Tojo, Tomoko Nakamura, Chiharu Fuchizawa, Toshihiko Oiwake, Atsushi Hayashi

Department of Ophthalmology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, Toyama, Japan

Background: The purpose of this study was to examine cone photoreceptors in the macula of patients with retinitis pigmentosa using an adaptive optics fundus camera and to investigate any correlations between cone photoreceptor density and findings on optical coherence tomography and fundus autofluorescence.
Methods: We examined two patients with typical retinitis pigmentosa who underwent ophthalmological examination, including measurement of visual acuity, and gathering of electroretinographic, optical coherence tomographic, fundus autofluorescent, and adaptive optics fundus images. The cone photoreceptors in the adaptive optics images of the two patients with retinitis pigmentosa and five healthy subjects were analyzed.
Results: An abnormal parafoveal ring of high-density fundus autofluorescence was observed in the macula in both patients. The border of the ring corresponded to the border of the external limiting membrane and the inner segment and outer segment line in the optical coherence tomographic images. Cone photoreceptors at the abnormal parafoveal ring were blurred and decreased in the adaptive optics images. The blurred area corresponded to the abnormal parafoveal ring in the fundus autofluorescence images. Cone densities were low at the blurred areas and at the nasal and temporal retina along a line from the fovea compared with those of healthy controls. The results for cone spacing and Voronoi domains in the macula corresponded with those for the cone densities.
Conclusion: Cone densities were heavily decreased in the macula, especially at the parafoveal ring on high-density fundus autofluorescence in both patients with retinitis pigmentosa. Adaptive optics images enabled us to observe in vivo changes in the cone photoreceptors of patients with retinitis pigmentosa, which corresponded to changes in the optical coherence tomographic and fundus autofluorescence images.

Keywords: adaptive optics fundus camera, cone photoreceptor, fundus autofluorescence, optical coherence tomography, retinitis pigmentosa

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