Open Access Open Badges Research article

Retro-mode imaging and fundus autofluorescence with scanning laser ophthalmoscope of retinal dystrophies

Battaglia Parodi Maurizio1, Iacono Pierluigi2*, Kontadakis Stelios1, Vergallo Stefano3, Cascavilla Marialucia1, Zucchiatti Ilaria1 and Bandello Francesco1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Vita-Salute University, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy

2 G. B. Bietti Foundation, IRCCS (Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico), Rome, Italy

3 Clinica Oculistica, Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital, Udine, Italy

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BMC Ophthalmology 2012, 12:8  doi:10.1186/1471-2415-12-8

Published: 15 May 2012



Retinal dystrophies display a considerably wide range of phenotypic variability, which can make diagnosis and clinical staging difficult. The aim of the study is to analyze the contribution of retro-mode imaging (RMI) and fundus autofluorescence (FAF) to the characterization of retinal dystrophies.


Eighteen consecutive patients affected by retinal dystrophies underwent a complete ophthalmological examination, including best corrected visual acuity with ETDRS charts, blue-light fundus autofluorescence, (BL-FAF), near-infrared fundus autofluorescence (NIR-FAF), and RMI. The primary outcome was the identification of abnormal patterns on RMI. The secondary outcome was the correlation with the findings on BL-FAF and NIR-FAF.


Overall, the main feature of RMI is represented by a pseudo-3D pattern of all the lesions at the posterior pole. More specifically, any accumulation of material within the retina appears as an area of elevation of different shape and size, displaying irregular and darker borders. No precise correlations between RMI, BL-AF, and NIR-AF imaging was found.


RMI and FAF appear to be useful tools for characterizing retinal dystrophies. Non-invasive diagnostic tools may yield additional information on the clinical setting and the monitoring of the patients.