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In vivo visualization of photoreceptor layer and lipofuscin accumulation in Stargardt’s disease and fundus flavimaculatus by high resolution spectral-domain optical coherence tomography

Authors Querques G, Prato R, Coscas G, Soubrane G, Souied EH

Published 2 December 2009 Volume 2009:3 Pages 693—699


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Giuseppe Querques, Rosy Prato, Gabriel Coscas, Gisèle Soubrane, Eric H Souied

Department of Ophthalmology, Hopital Intercommunal de Creteil, University Paris XII, France

Introduction: To assess photoreceptor (PR) layer morphology in patients with Stargardt’s disease (STGD) and fundus flavimaculatus (FFM) using high resolution spectral domain optical coherence tomography (HD-OCT; OCT 4000 Cirrus, Humphrey-Zeiss, San Leandro, CA).

Methods: This was a prospective observational case series. Sixteen consecutive patients with STGD and FFM underwent a complete ophthalmologic examination. Optical coherence tomography examination was performed with HD-OCT, a high-speed (27,000 axial scans per second) OCT system using spectral/Fourier domain detection, with an axial image resolution of 5 µm.

Results: A total of 31 eyes were included in the study. Transverse loss of the PR layer in the foveal region was shown by HD-OCT. Twenty eyes with clinically evident central atrophy had a disruption of either the Verhoeff‘s membrane (VM) or the layer corresponding to the interface of inner segment (IS) and outer segment (OS) of PR in the foveal region. Among these eyes, 12/20 eyes had a loss of the PR layer (loss of both VM and IS-OS interface) in the foveal region. Eleven eyes (11/31) without clinically evident central atrophy had an intact interface of IS and OS of PR centrally. Moreover, we observed hyperreflective deposits: type 1 lesions located within the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) layer and at the level of the outer segments of PR, and type 2 lesions located at the level of the outer nuclear layer and clearly separated from the RPE layer. Type 1 lesions alone were associated with absence of loss of the PR layer in the foveal region in all eyes; type 2 lesions were always associated with presence of type 1 lesions, and often (8/12 eyes) associated with loss of the PR layer within the foveal region. Mean best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was significantly correlated with loss of the PR layer in the foveal region (P < 0.001), as well as to presence of type 2 flecks (P = 0.03).

Conclusion: Type 2 deposits in STGD/FFM patients seem to represent a marker of the possible evolution towards foveal atrophy.

Keywords: fundus flavimaculatus, high definition optical coherence tomography, retinal dystrophy, stargardt’s disease

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