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Fundus Autofluorescence and RPE Lipofuscin in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University Medical Center, 635 W. 165th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA
2
Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University Medical Center, 630 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(4), 1302-1321; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm3041302
Received: 28 August 2014 / Revised: 4 November 2014 / Accepted: 6 November 2014 / Published: 17 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Age-Related Macular Disease)
Genes that increase susceptibility to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have been identified; however, since many individuals carrying these risk alleles do not develop disease, other contributors are involved. One additional factor, long implicated in the pathogenesis of AMD, is the lipofuscin of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). The fluorophores that constitute RPE lipofuscin also serve as a source of autofluorescence (AF) that can be imaged by confocal laser ophthalmoscopy. The AF originating from lipofuscin is excited by the delivery of short wavelength (SW) light. A second autofluorescence is emitted from the melanin of RPE (and choroid) upon near-infrared (NIR-AF) excitation. SW-AF imaging is currently used in the clinical management of retinal disorders and the advantages of NIR-AF are increasingly recognized. Here we visit the damaging properties of RPE lipofuscin that could be significant when expressed on a background of genetic susceptibility. To advance interpretations of disease-related patterns of fundus AF in AMD, we also consider the photochemical and spectrophotometric features of the lipofuscin compounds responsible for generating the fluorescence emission. View Full-Text
Keywords: retinal pigment epithelium; bisretinoid; melanin; lipofuscin; fundus autofluorescence; near-infrared fluorescence; short-wavelength fluorescence imaging retinal pigment epithelium; bisretinoid; melanin; lipofuscin; fundus autofluorescence; near-infrared fluorescence; short-wavelength fluorescence imaging
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Sparrow, J.R.; Duncker, T. Fundus Autofluorescence and RPE Lipofuscin in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3, 1302-1321.

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