Author(s): Knudtson MD, Klein R,Klein BE, Lee KE, Meuer SM, Tomany SC. Location of lesions associated with age-related maculopathy over a 10-year period: the Beaver Dam Eye Study. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2004 Jul;45(7):2135-42. PMID 15223787
PURPOSE To describe cumulative incidence and changes in retinal lesions associated with age-related maculopathy (ARM) by location over a 10-year period and to examine the relation of location of those lesions to progression of ARM.
METHODS Persons ranging in age from 43 to 84 years and living in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, at the time of a census (1987-1988) were examined two to three times over a 10-year period (n = 3684). Drusen area, size, and type; retinal pigment epithelium depigmentation; increased pigment; geographic atrophy; and neovascular macular degeneration were determined in each of nine macular subfields: central, inner and outer superior, inner and outer nasal, inner and outer inferior, and inner and outer temporal by grading of stereoscopic color fundus photographs. Late ARM was defined as presence of either geographic atrophy or neovascular ARM.
RESULTS Lesions were more likely to change or develop in specific locations. Drusen area increased most in the central circle. Compared with other quadrants, drusen greater than 125 micro m in diameter and soft indistinct or reticular drusen were most likely to develop in the superior or temporal quadrants, whereas pigmentary abnormalities were most likely to occur in the nasal or superior quadrants. In general, large drusen, soft indistinct drusen, and pigmentary abnormalities were more likely to develop in the inner circle versus the central and outer circles. The quadrant location of early ARM lesions in 72 persons in whom late ARM developed was generally similar to that in persons who did not have late ARM. However, persons who had geographic atrophy were more likely to have large drusen in the inner circle than in the outer circle, while those who did not have late ARM were more likely to have large drusen in the outer circle.
CONCLUSIONS Lesions associated with early ARM were more likely to develop in specific locations in the macular area, and persons with lesions closer to the fovea may be related to a higher risk of development of late ARM. The quadrant location of early ARM lesions does not appear to add additional information to the risk of development of late ARM.