The Significance of External Limiting Membrane Status for Visual Acuity in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Department of Ophthalmology, Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital, Japan.
American Journal of Ophthalmology (Impact Factor: 3.87). 07/2010; 150(1):27-32.e1. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajo.2010.02.012
Source: PubMed


To evaluate status of the external limiting membrane (ELM) as a contributor of visual acuity (VA) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Hospital-based, cross-sectional study.
We retrospectively reviewed spectral-domain optical coherence tomography images of 158 patients with AMD who had undergone photodynamic therapy and classified them based on the status of the ELM: absent, discontinuous, or complete. We simultaneously assessed foveal thickness, presence or absence of subretinal fluid/mass, presence or absence of subretinal pigment epithelium fluid/mass, status of the inner segment/outer segment (IS/OS) junction, and status of the intermediate line between the IS/OS junction and retinal pigment epithelium. Correlation coefficients between each parameter and VA were analyzed.
There was a strong correlation between ELM status and VA (r = -0.75, P < .001), and that was higher than that of the IS/OS (r = -0.69, P < .001). Multivariate analysis showed that ELM status is the most important factor for VA. Other parameters that correlated with VA included age, status of the intermediate line, and presence of subretinal or subretinal pigment epithelium fibrosis. Foveal thickness showed V-shaped correlation, with the dividing line around 200 mum.
ELM status may be more useful than is IS/OS status in evaluation of retinal morphology and function in patients with AMD.

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    • "Further research is required to confirm whether or not this is the case. In a study by Oishi et al. [11], CFT was negatively correlated with VA in eyes with a foveal thickness >203 µm. In our study, however, the initial CFT was not correlated with the initial VA, and the final CFT was not correlated with final VA (data not shown). "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose To investigate which spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) findings predict visual outcome after anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) treatment in neovascular age-related macular degeneration (NV-AMD). Methods We reviewed the medical records of patients with treatment-naïve NV-AMD who underwent three or more consecutive anti-VEGF injections. The patients were divided into three groups according to their changes of visual acuity (VA); improved (group I), static (group S), or worsened (group W). We assessed the incidences and values of all available SD-OCT findings of these groups, compared these findings between the three groups and compared the initial values with the post-treatment values. Results Better initial VA and longer external limiting membrane (ELM) length were associated with less change in VA after anti-VEGF treatment. The initial VA was mildly correlated with initial photoreceptor inner and outer segment junction (IS/OS) length and initial ELM length. The final VA was also mildly correlated with the final IS/OS length and the final ELM length. VA was significantly changed after anti-VEGF treatment in groups W and I. With regard to incidence, disruption of the IS/OS (IS/OS-D), disruption of the ELM (ELM-D) and ELM length differed significantly between the three groups, particularly ELM-D. The incidences of IS/OS-D and ELM-D in group I were significantly lower than those in groups S and W, and those in group S were also lower than those in group W. The ELM length in group I was significantly longer than it was in groups S and W, and the ELM length in group S was longer than that for group W. However, these three findings did not change after the anti-VEGF treatment. Conclusions Initial IS/OS-D, ELM length and particularly ELM-D can be useful predictors of the visual outcome after anti-VEGF treatment in NV-AMD patients.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Korean Journal of Ophthalmology
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    • "At age 25 days, the thinning of the outer nuclear layer (ONL) was clearly observed in the control mice (Fig. 5a). The outer nuclear layer and the junction line between the inner segment and outer segment (arrow heads in Fig. 5a), which is generally considered to be positively associated with visual function2324, were clearly detected in the KUS-treated but not in control mice. A very small electroretinogram response was observed in control mice, but an almost normal electroretinogram response was observed in most of the KUS-treated mice (Fig. 5b). "
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    ABSTRACT: Neuroprotection may prevent or forestall the progression of incurable eye diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa, one of the major causes of adult blindness. Decreased cellular ATP levels may contribute to the pathology of this eye disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Here we describe small compounds (Kyoto University Substances, KUSs) that were developed to inhibit the ATPase activity of VCP (valosin-containing protein), the most abundant soluble ATPase in the cell. Surprisingly, KUSs did not significantly impair reported cellular functions of VCP but nonetheless suppressed the VCP-dependent decrease of cellular ATP levels. Moreover, KUSs, as well as exogenous ATP or ATP-producing compounds, e.g. methylpyruvate, suppressed endoplasmic reticulum stress, and demonstrably protected various types of cultured cells from death, including several types of retinal neuronal cells. We then examined their in vivo efficacies in rd10, a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa. KUSs prevented photoreceptor cell death and preserved visual function. These results reveal an unexpected, crucial role of ATP consumption by VCP in determining cell fate in this pathological context, and point to a promising new neuroprotective strategy for currently incurable retinitis pigmentosa.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Scientific Reports
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    • "In contrast, in more vision-threatening diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, the COST line is almost totally deteriorated, and the IS/OS junction, and even the ELM are disrupted in many cases [24]. Thus, there should be a hierarchy of vulnerability among the 3 lines; the COST line, the IS/OS junction and the ELM can be disrupted when mild, moderate, and severe photoreceptor damage, respectively, is caused [23] "
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    ABSTRACT: With recent development of spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), the pathological changes of retina can be observed in much greater detail. SD-OCT clearly delineates three highly reflective lines in the outer retina, which are external limiting membrane (ELM), photoreceptor inner and outer segment (IS/OS) junction, and cone outer segment tips (COST) in order from inside. These lines can serve as hallmarks for the evaluation of photoreceptor condition. In retinitis pigmentosa (RP) leading to photoreceptor degeneration, the ELM, IS/OS, and COST lines are shortened with the progression of the disease. In addition, shortening of the ELM, IS/OS and COST lines is significantly associated with each other. The line length is longest in the ELM, followed by the IS/OS, and COST, suggesting that retinal layer becomes disorganized first at the COST, followed by the IS/OS and finally the ELM. This finding is consistent with the previous report that the earliest histopathological change in RP is a shortening of the photoreceptor outer segments. On the other hand, retinal layer becomes restored first at the ELM, followed by the IS/OS and finally the COST after macular hole surgery. There may be a directionality of photoreceptor impairment or restoration on optical coherence tomographic image.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Journal of Ophthalmology
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