Fundus Autofluorescence and Progression of Age-related Macular Degeneration

Steffen Schmitz-Valckenberg, Monika Fleckenstein, Hendrik P.N. Scholl, Frank G. Holz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Fundus autofluorescence imaging is an imaging method that provides additional information compared to conventional imaging techniques. It permits to topographically map lipofuscin distribution of the retinal pigment epithelial cell monolayer. Excessive accumulation of lipofuscin granules in the lysosomal compartment of retinal pigment epithelium cells represents a common downstream pathogenetic pathway in various hereditary and complex retinal diseases including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This comprehensive review contains an introduction in fundus autofluorescence imaging, including basic considerations, the origin of the signal, different imaging methods, and a brief overview of fundus autofluorescence findings in normal subjects. Furthermore, it summarizes cross-sectional and longitudinal fundus autofluorescence findings in patients with AMD, addresses the pathophysiological significance of increased fundus autofluorescence, and characterizes different fundus autofluorescence phenotypes as well as fundus autofluorescence alterations with disease progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-117
Number of pages22
JournalSurvey of ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • age-related macular degeneration
  • fundus autofluorescence
  • lipofuscin
  • retinal autofluorescence
  • retinal pigment epithelium
  • scanning laser ophthalmoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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