Inherited Retinal Disease

Adaptive optics holds promise for early detection, monitoring of inherited retinal diseases

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Adaptive optics (AO) imaging may be a promising and potentially revolutionary tool for the early diagnosis and monitoring of inherited retinal diseases (IRDs). A recent article discusses how AO imaging can provide valuable insights into disease progression, especially in cases of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) where traditional imaging methods might not detect early changes.

By utilizing cone metrics and focusing on the foveal region, AO imaging offers an opportunity to assess the efficacy of interventions and treatments for IRDs. However, the article also highlights the need for standardized imaging protocols and further validation to ensure the reliability of AO imaging in clinical trials and practice.

One of the most intriguing findings of this study is AO imaging’s effectiveness in identifying disease progression in patients with RP who do not exhibit obvious outer retinal defects on Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography (SD-OCT) scans. RP is a type of IRD characterized by the gradual loss of peripheral vision. Since significant visual impairment often occurs after foveal involvement in many IRDs, the early detection of AO imaging in the foveal region provides a valuable signal for assessing the safety and efficacy of interventions for IRDs.

The importance of region-specific imaging is also discussed in the study. While monitoring disease progression in RP might be best achieved by imaging the temporal retina along the horizontal meridian, central retinal images are more adept at detecting subtle photoreceptor mosaic changes at early stages of macular disorders or generalized retinopathies.

Overall, AO imaging has the potential to transform the way IRDs are diagnosed, monitored, and treated, offering a new avenue for precision medicine in this field.

The full article can be found here.

Ashourizadeh H, Fakhri M, Hassanpour K, et al. Pearls and Pitfalls of Adaptive Optics Ophthalmoscopy in Inherited Retinal Diseases. Diagnostics (Basel). 2023;13(14):2413. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics13142413. PMID: 37510157; PMCID: PMC10377978.