Green-Light Autofluorescence Versus Combined Blue-Light Autofluorescence and Near-Infrared Reflectance Imaging in Geographic Atrophy Secondary to Age-Related Macular Degeneration


To compare the intermodality and interreader agreement for geographic atrophy (GA) lesion size quantification in green-light fundus autofluorescence (GAF; excitation = 518 nm) versus combined blue-light fundus autofluorescence (BAF; excitation = 488 nm) and near-infrared reflectance (NIR; 820 nm) -based grading. Confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (cSLO) GAF, BAF, and NIR images of 40 eyes from 29 patients (mean age 79.7 years) with GA secondary to AMD were recorded according to a standardized protocol. GA areas were analyzed in GAF, BAF combined with NIR (BAF+NIR), or BAF alone, by four independent readers using semiautomated software (RegionFinder; Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany). A mixed-effects model was used to assess the effect of image modality on the measured square-root lesion area. The coefficient of repeatability (CR) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) were assessed for the square-root lesion area, lesion perimeter, and circularity. GAF-based measurements were on average 0.062 mm (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.04-0.08 mm) larger than BAF+NIR-based measurements and 0.077 mm (95% CI 0.06 - 0.10 mm) larger than BAF-based measurements. Interreader agreement was highest for GAF-based analysis ([CR, ICC] 0.196 mm, 0.995) followed by BAF+NIR (0.232 mm, 0.992) and BAF alone (0.263 mm, 0.991). The same was noted for the lesion perimeter and circularity. Post hoc review revealed that interreader differences were associated with media opacification interfering with lesion boundary demarcation to a larger extent in BAF than in GAF. cSLO-based GAF and combined BAF+NIR imaging with semiautomated lesion delineation allow for an accurate and reproducible quantification of GA. The slightly better interreader agreement using cSLO GAF suggests that its use may be preferable in clinical trials examining the change in lesion size as a clinical endpoint.

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci