Introduction. Stargardt disease (STGD) is a blinding hereditary disease, affecting people at mostly a young age. It is characterized by the appearance of typical ‘flecks’ on autofluorescence (AF) images of the retina, which are later accompanied by focal destruction of retinal photoreceptor cells. We assessed longitudinal changes of autofluorescence distribution due to light protection by a black contact lens using ImageJ.
Methods. 2 STGD patients wore black lenses on one eye all day for at least one year. Their fellow eyes and the eyes of other STGD patients served as controls. Serial AF scans were taken before and after the treatment. AF scans were registered, averaged, rescaled, histogram stretched and before and after scans were registered using “Align image by line ROI”. Vessels and bifurcations were masked and excluded from the AF ROI, and images were pseudo-flat fielded for uneven illumination. To obtain the mean and standard deviation of ‘normal AF’ intensity, an unaffected area of the retina served as a reference ROI, We masked pixel intensities within the mean + 2 standard deviations of normal AF, of before and after scans. We determined the difference between both eyes in per cent overlap of these masks.
Results. In treated STGD patients, the overlap in covered eyes was not greater compared to light-exposed eyes. STGD control subjects showed differences between their left and right eyes (15.4% and 0.4%) in a similar range compared to treated STGD patients (6.6% and 11.6%).
Discussion. By ImageJ-assisted AF analysis, we found no indications that a black contact lens has significant effects on retinal AF in STGD patients.
Stargardt disease, retinal autofluorescence, black lens, black contact lens, light protection
Michel M. Teussink graduated in 2010 for his Masters in Medical Biology at the Radboud University Nijmegen, and specialized in the biological implementation of diverse clinical/ biological imaging modalities and techniques, in image-analysis, and on the biological research fields of oncology and dermatology. Since 2011, he is a PhD student on a project to establish a functional retinal imaging procedure at the department of Ophthalmology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Research interests include optical coherence tomography (OCT), functional retinal imaging, retinal dystrophies and image segmentation/ analysis. He active in the work domains of ophthalmology and imaging of the retina.
Presenting author: Michel M. Teussink
Organisation: Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre
co-authors: B. Jeroen Klevering, Carel B. Hoyng and Thomas Theelen.