Hyperspectral autofluorescence imaging of drusen and retinal pigment epithelium in donor eyes with age-related macular degeneration

Academic Article


  • Purpose: To elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and interpretation of fundus autofluorescence imaging, the authors identified spectral autofluorescence characteristics of drusen and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) in donor eyes with AMD. Methods: Macular RPE/Bruch membrane flat mounts were prepared from 5 donor eyes with AMD. In 12 locations (1-3 per eye), hyperspectral autofluorescence images in 10-nmwavelength steps were acquired at 2 excitation wavelengths (lex 436, 480 nm). A nonnegative tensor factorization algorithm was used to recover 5 abundant emission spectra and their corresponding spatial localizations. Results: At lex 436 nm, the authors consistently localized a novel spectrum (SDr) with a peak emission near 510 nm in drusen and sub-RPE deposits. Abundant emission spectra seen previously (S0 in Bruch membrane and S1, S2, and S3 in RPE lipofuscin/melanolipofuscin, respectively) also appeared in AMD eyes, with the same shapes and peak wavelengths as in normal tissue. Lipofuscin/melanolipofuscin spectra localizations in AMD eyes varied widely in their overlap with drusen, ranging from none to complete. Conclusion: An emission spectrum peaking at-510 nm (lex 436 nm) appears to be sensitive and specific for drusen and sub-RPE deposits. One or more abundant spectra from RPE organelles exhibit characteristic relationships with drusen.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Tong Y; Ami TB; Hong S; Heintzmann R; Gerig G; Ablonczy Z; Curcio CA; Ach T; Smith RT
  • Start Page

  • S127
  • End Page

  • S136
  • Volume

  • 36