Author(s):Domalpally A, Danis R, Agrón E, Blodi B, Clemons T, Chew E; Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 Research Group. Evaluation of geographic atrophy from color photographs and fundus autofluorescence images: Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 report number 11. Ophthalmology. 2016 Nov;123(11):2401-2407. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.06.025. Epub 2016 Jul 19. PMID 27448832
PURPOSE To compare measurements of area of geographic atrophy (GA) and change in GA area from color photographs and fundus autofluorescence (FAF) images.
DESIGN The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) was a prospective multicenter randomized clinical trial evaluating progression of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) using color photographs at annual visits over a 5-year study period. The FAF images were acquired in a subset of participants who joined the FAF ancillary study at any of the annual visits over the study period.
PARTICIPANTS The AREDS2 FAF ancillary study included 8070 corresponding color and FAF visits of 2202 participants with variable follow-up.
METHODS Corresponding color and FAF images were independently evaluated at a central reading center for GA area measurement, lesion growth, and involvement of the macula center.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Presence, area, growth rate of GA, and involvement of center of macula from color and FAF images.
RESULTS Hypoautofluorescence was visible in 2048 visits (25.4%). Agreement for the presence of GA between the 2 modalities had a kappa of 0.79, with 23% of visits with hypoautofluorescence not presenting with GA on color photographs. Percentage agreement for GA presence ranged from 43% at baseline to 81% at year 5 with improving agreement over time. The mean difference in GA area between the 2 modalities was 0.5 mm2, with larger areas on FAF. Growth rate of GA was 1.45 mm2 from color photographs and 1.43 mm2 from FAF images. The center of the macula was involved in 51% of color photographs and 56% with FAF images.
CONCLUSIONS Geographic atrophy may be detected earlier by the use of FAF images, but over the course of the study, the 2 modalities become comparable. Progression of GA area is comparable between color photographs and FAF images, but evaluating involvement of the center of the macula may differ, probably because of macular pigmentation blocking autofluorescence.