To describe the appearance of the non-exudative forms of age related macular degeneration (AMD) as imaged by ultrahigh resolution optical coherence tomography (UHR-OCT).
A UHR-OCT ophthalmic imaging system, which utilises a femtosecond laser light source capable of ~3 μm axial resolution, was employed to obtain retinal cross sectional images of patients with non-exudative AMD. Observational studies of the resulting retinal images were performed.
52 eyes of 42 patients with the clinical diagnosis of non-exudative AMD were imaged using the UHR-OCT system. 47 of the 52 (90%) eyes had the clinical diagnosis of drusen and/or retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) changes. In these patients, three patterns of drusen were apparent on UHR-OCT: (1) distinct RPE excrescences, (2) a saw toothed pattern of the RPE, and (3) nodular drusen. On UHR-OCT, three eyes (6%) with a clinical diagnosis of non-exudative AMD had evidence of fluid under the retina or RPE. Two of these three patients had findings suspicious for subclinical choroidal neovascularisation on UHR-OCT.
With the increased resolution of UHR-OCT compared to standard OCT, the involvement of the outer retinal layers are more clearly defined. UHR-OCT may allow for the detection of early exudative changes not visible clinically or by angiography.