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Retinal fluorescence lifetime characteristics in patients with retinitis pigmentosa

Session Details

Session Title: Imaging IV

Session Date/Time: Sunday 20/09/2015 | 11:00-13:00

Paper Time: 11:56

Venue: Thalie.

First Author: : C.Dysli SWITZERLAND

Co Author(s): :    S. Wolf   M. Zinkernagel           

Abstract Details

PURPOSE:To characterize and quantify retinal autofluorescence lifetimes in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) using a Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Ophthalmoscopy (FLIO). FLIO is a novel imaging technique which allows for detection of structural and potentially also metabolic changes within the retina.


This study was conducted at the department of ophthalmology at the University Hospital of Bern, Switzerland.


A Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Ophthalmoscope (FLIO, Heidelberg Engineering, Germany) was used for measurement of retinal autofluorescence decay times. Fluorescence was excited with a 473 nm laser and decay times were recorded in a short and in a long spectral channel (SSC: 498–560 nm, LSC: 560–720 nm). Corresponding optical coherence tomography (OCT) images were recorded. Totally 30 patients (age 45 ± 2.3, mean ± SEM) with retinitis pigmentosa were examined and mean lifetime values were compared with corresponding areas in age matched healthy control eyes.


Fluorescence lifetime values in the macular center of patients with retinitis pigmentosa were prolonged by 42% in the short and 28% in the long spectral channel compared to healthy control eyes (SSC: p=0.0026; LSC: p=0.0016). Peripheral areas with retinal atrophy were characterized by massively prolonged lifetime values.


In vivo fluorescence lifetime measurement delivers disease specific lifetime patterns which might be used as a diagnostic tool and for monitoring of disease progression. FLIO potentially provides information about the functionality of individual retinal areas and layers.

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