Dr Sarah Thiele from the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Bonn and A/Prof Chi D. Luu from the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) and the Department of Surgery (Ophthalmology) at the University of Melbourne published a joint publication in the journal translational vision science & technology.
In their study “Validation of an Automated Quantification of Relative Ellipsoid Zone Reflectivity on Spectral Domain-Optical Coherence Tomography Images” they present an innovative method for automated determination and quantification of specific signals from the photoreceptor’s mitochondria. They termed this signal as “relative ellipsoid zone reflectivity (rEZR)”. The rEZR could potentially be used as an in vivo biomarker of photoreceptor function and thus as a prognostic marker for the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD, an eye condition affecting the central retina (the macula), is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the elderly population in industrial countries. For the development of therapies that prevent or slow the progression of the disease a sensitive biomarker that allows better monitoring of AMD progression is needed. The newly established, automated quantification method of the rEZR allows further studies to evaluate the relevance of the rEZR as an in vivo biomarker of photoreceptor function and its prognostic value for AMD progression.
The publication results from a BM-AXIS funded 3-month research visit of Sarah Thiele in the laboratory of Chi Luu in Melbourne.
Publication: Thiele S, Isselmann B, Pfau M, Holz FG, Schmitz-Valckenberg S, Wu Z, Guymer RH, Luu CD. Validation of an automated quantification of relative ellipsoid zone reflectivity on spectral domain-optical coherence tomography images. Trans Vis Sci Tech. 2020;9(11):17 https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.11.17