Reticular pseudodrusen in intermediate age-related macular degeneration: Prevalence, detection, clinical, environmental, and genetic associations

Zhichao Wu, Lauren N. Ayton, Chi D. Luu, Paul N. Baird, Robyn H. Guymer

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57 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE. To determine the prevalence of reticular pseudodrusen (RPD) and their detection using multimodal imaging in patients with bilateral large drusen, and examine their clinical, demographic, environmental, and genetic associations. METHODS. Three hundred participants with bilateral large drusen (>125 µm) underwent color fundus photography (CFP), near-infrared reflectance (NIR), fundus autofluorescence (FAF), and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) imaging. Demographic information, smoking, and medical history were recorded, and a blood sample was obtained and genotyped to identify the risk alleles of the CFH and ARMS2 genes. RESULTS. Reticular pseudodrusen were detected in 28.2% eyes of 29.0% participants using NIR and SD-OCT combined, but CFP and FAF detected only 42% and 89%, respectively, of these eyes with RPD. Participants with RPD were significantly older than those without (P < 0.001), but there was no significant difference in sex distribution, smoking history, cardiovascular factors, and minor allele frequency of the CFH gene (P > 0.173). However, the minor allele frequency of the ARMS2 gene was significantly higher in participants with RPD (P = 0.002). The presence of RPD was also independently associated with the presence of atrophic changes (including nascent geographic atrophy and drusen-associated atrophy detected on SD-OCT; P = 0.043). CONCLUSIONS. Reticular pseudodrusen were detected on NIR and SD-OCT in more than a quarter of participants with bilateral large drusen, being often overlooked with CFP. Those with RPD had a higher frequency of the ARMS2 risk variant, and eyes with RPD were more likely to have atrophic changes. These findings are important to consider when managing patients with intermediate AMD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1310-1316
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Drusen
  • Reticular pseudodrusen
  • Subretinal drusenoid deposits

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