Fluorescence lifetime distribution in phakic and pseudophakic healthy eyes

PLoS One. 2023 Jan 6;18(1):e0279158. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0279158. eCollection 2023.


PURPOSE: To investigate the influence of the lens status and to describe fundus autofluorescence lifetimes (FLT) in a large cohort of healthy eyes across a wide age range.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: FLT data were acquired from healthy phakic and pseudophakic eyes using fluorescence lifetime imaging ophthalmoscopy (FLIO). Retinal autofluorescence was excited with a 473 nm laser and emitted autofluorescence was detected in a short and a long spectral channel (SSC: 498-560 nm; LSC: 560-720 nm).

RESULTS: 141 healthy eyes from 141 participants (56 ± 18 years) were included. The shortest mean FLTs were measured within the macular center, followed by the temporal inner and outer ETDRS (Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study) grid segments, and the remaining areas of the inner and the outer ETDRS ring. In phakic participants (81%), mean, short and long FLTs correlated with the age (SSC: r2 = 0.54; LSC: r2 = 0.7; both p<0.0001) with an increase of about 33 ps in the SSC resp. 28 ps in the LSC per decade. In pseudophakic subjects (19%), mean FLTs only correlated with age in the long spectral channel (r2 = 0.44; p = 0.0002) but not in the short spectral channel (r2 = 0.066; p = 0.2).

CONCLUSIONS: Fundus autofluorescence lifetimes are age dependent. FLTs in the SSC are more susceptible to lens opacities but less dependent on age changes, whereas FLTs in the LSC are largely independent of the lens status but display a higher degree of age dependency.

STUDY REGISTRY: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01981148.

PMID:36608033 | PMC:PMC9821472 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0279158


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