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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Oct 10;52(11):8006-15. doi: 10.1167/iovs.11-7693.

Quantification of peripapillary sparing and macular involvement in Stargardt disease (STGD1).

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Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.



To quantify and compare structure and function across the macula and peripapillary area in Stargardt disease (STGD1).


Twenty-seven patients (27 eyes) and 12 age-similar controls (12 eyes) were studied. Patients were classified on the basis of full-field electroretinogram (ERG) results: Fundus autofluorescence (FAF) and spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) horizontal line scans were obtained through the fovea and peripapillary area. The thicknesses of the outer nuclear layer plus outer plexiform layer (ONL+), outer segment (OS), and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) were measured through the fovea, and peripapillary areas from 1° to 4° temporal to the optic disc edge using a computer-aided, manual segmentation technique. Visual sensitivities in the central 10° were assessed using microperimetry and related to retinal layer thicknesses.


Compared to the central macula, the differences between controls and patients in ONL+, OS, and RPE layer thicknesses were less in the nasal and temporal macula. Relative sparing of the ONL+ and/or OS layers was detected in the nasal (i.e., peripapillary) macula in 8 of 13 patients with extramacular disease on FAF; relative functional sparing was also detected in this subgroup. All 14 patients with disease confined to the central macula, as detected on FAF, showed ONL+ and OS layer thinning in regions of normal RPE thickness.


Relative peripapillary sparing was detected in STGD1 patients with extramacular disease on FAF. Photoreceptor thinning may precede RPE degeneration in STGD1.

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