BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction are implicated in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Because increased flavoprotein fluorescence (FPF) is indicative of mitochondrial dysfunction, the authors attempted to detect mitochondrial dysfunction in eyes with AMD using FPF.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Six nonexudative eyes with AMD, including three with geographic atrophy (GA), and age-matched control eyes were imaged with a FPF device. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were conducted on the FPF images.
RESULTS: Five eyes with AMD, including all three eyes with GA, showed qualitative and/or quantitative FPF heterogeneity that was not present in control eyes. Mean FPF average intensities of eyes with AMD with (P = .044) and without (P = .00060) GA were signifi cantly greater than those of control eyes. The standard deviations of FPF images were greater in eyes with AMD (P = .020).
CONCLUSION: In this small cluster of patients with AMD, retinal FPF is increased, suggesting elevated mitochondrial dysfunction. FPF heterogeneity indicates that an increased variability in mitochondrial dysfunction seems to be present in eyes with advanced disease.