Discordance between blue-light autofluorescence and near-infrared autofluorescence in age-related macular degeneration

Michael J. Heiferman, Amani A. Fawzi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: To identify the origin and significance of discordance between blue-light autofluorescence (BL-AF; 488 nm) and near-infrared autofluorescence (NI-AF; 787 nm) in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Methods: A total of 86 eyes of 59 patients with a diagnosis of AMD were included in this cross-sectional study conducted between March 9, 2015 and May 1, 2015. A masked observer examined the BL-AF, NI-AF, and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography images. Areas with discordance of autofluorescence patterns between NI-AF and BL-AF images were correlated with structural findings at the corresponding location in optical coherence tomography scans. Results: Seventy-nine eyes had discordance between BL-AF and NI-AF. The most common optical coherence tomography finding accounting for these discrepancies was pigment migration accounting for 35 lesions in 21 eyes. The most clinically relevant finding was geographic atrophy missed on BL-AF in 7 eyes. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that variations in the distribution of lipofuscin, melanin and melanolipofuscin account for the majority of discordance between BL-AF and NI-AF. Given our finding of missed geographic atrophy lesions on BL-AF in 24% of eyes with geographic atrophy (7/29 eyes), clinicians should consider multimodal imaging, including NI-AF and optical coherence tomography, especially in clinical trials of geographic atrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S137-S146
StatePublished - 2016


  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Bluelight autofluorescence
  • Calcific drusen
  • Geographic atrophy
  • Near-infrared autofluorescence
  • Pigment migration
  • Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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