- Fundus Autofluorescence (FAF or AF) is a novel, non-invasive imaging procedure that often yields abnormalities that are invisible to ophthalmoscopy and standard color fundus photography.
- FAF is likely due to lipofuscin, the “wear and tear” pigment found in retinal cells, especially RPE cells.
- The normal retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) yields a slightly granular AF glow in contrast to the optic disc and retinal blood vessels which appear black.
- The accumulation of lipofuscin, often due to lysosomal dysfunction, results in increased AF and suggests RPE dysfunction or stress.1
- Decreased FAF suggests loss of RPE cells (as well as possibly photoreceptors) and correlates to reduced levels of lipofuscin.
- As revealed in a series of cases to follow, Panoramic FAF is now possible and appears to reveal abnormalities throughout the entire retina, often invisible to other imaging modalities.