Cuticular Drusen in Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Association with Progression and Impact on Visual Sensitivity

Kai Lyn Goh, Fred K. Chen, Chandrakumar Balaratnasingam, Carla J. Abbott, Lauren A.B. Hodgson, Robyn H. Guymer, Zhichao Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To determine the prognostic significance and impact on visual function of the cuticular drusen phenotype in a cohort with intermediate age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design: Longitudinal, observational study. Participants: Participants aged 50 years or older, with bilateral large conventional drusen, without late AMD. Methods: Multimodal imaging (MMI) and microperimetry were performed at baseline and then every 6 months for up to 3 years. Eyes were graded for the MMI-based presence of cuticular drusen at baseline. Color fundus photographs were used to grade for the presence of pigmentary abnormalities. OCT scans were used to calculate drusen volume. The associations between cuticular drusen and progression to MMI-defined late AMD (including OCT signs of atrophy) and the impact on visual sensitivity were examined with and without adjustment for the confounders of baseline age, pigmentary abnormalities, and drusen volume. Main Outcome Measures: Time to develop MMI-defined late AMD and change in mean visual sensitivity. Results: A total of 280 eyes from 140 participants were included, with 70 eyes from 35 individuals (25%) having cuticular drusen at baseline. Cuticular drusen were not significantly associated with an increased rate of progression to late AMD with and without adjustment for confounders (P ≥ 0.784 for both). In an adjusted model, cuticular drusen were not associated with lower baseline visual sensitivity (P = 0.758) or a faster rate of visual sensitivity decline (P = 0.196). Conclusions: In a cohort with bilateral large conventional drusen, individuals with the cuticular drusen phenotype had neither a higher nor lower risk of developing late AMD over 3 years and were not associated with a difference in rate of visual sensitivity decline compared with those without this phenotype. As such, individuals with this phenotype currently warrant similar monitoring strategies as those with conventional drusen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-660
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Event52nd Annual Scientific Congress of The
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
- Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 26 Feb 20221 Mar 2022


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