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Correlation Between Blue Fundus Autofluorescence and SD-OCT Measurements of Geographic Atrophy in Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

PURPOSE: To compare fundus autofluorescence (FAF) and spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (OCT) measurements of geographic atrophy (GA) area and to analyze lesion area changes measured by SD-OCT in GATHER1.

DESIGN: An assessment reliability analysis using prospective, randomized, double-masked phase 2/3 clinical trial data.

METHODS: GATHER1 examined the efficacy and safety of avacincaptad pegol (ACP) for GA treatment. A post hoc analysis was performed to identify correlations between FAF- and OCT-based measurements of GA. GA area was measured on blue-light FAF images using semiautomatic segmentation software with support from OCT and near infrared imaging. Machine-learning enhanced, multilayer segmentation of OCT scans were reviewed by human readers, and segmentation errors were corrected as needed. GA area was defined as total RPE loss on cross-sectional B scans. Time points included Months 0, 6, 12, and 18. Additionally, OCT-based GA-area changes between ACP and sham were analyzed.

RESULTS: There was a strong correlation (r=0.93) between FAF and OCT GA area measurements that persisted through 18 months. Mean (SD) differences between OCT and FAF GA measurements were negligeable: 0.11 mm2 (1.42) at Month 0, 0.03 mm2 (1.62) at Month 6, -0.17 mm2 (1.81) at Month 12, and -0.07 mm2 (1.78) at Month 18. OCT assessments of GA growth revealed a 30% and 27% reduction at Months 12 and 18, respectively, between ACP and sham, replicating FAF measurements from GATHER1.

CONCLUSIONS: The strong correlation between blue FAF and OCT measurements of GA area supports OCT as a reliable method to measure GA lesion area in clinical trials.

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