Original Research

Fundus auto fluorescence and spectral domain ocular coherence tomography in the early detection of chloroquine retinopathy

Megan B. Goodman, Ari Ziskind
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 74, No 1 | a297 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v74i1.297 | © 2015 Megan B. Goodman, Ari Ziskind | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 February 2015 | Published: 21 August 2015

About the author(s)

Megan B. Goodman, Division of Epidemiology and Ophthalmology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Ari Ziskind, Division of Ophthalmology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


Purpose: To determine the sensitivity of spectral domain ocular coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and fundus auto fluorescence (FAF) images as a screening test to detect early changes in the retina prior to the onset of chloroquine retinopathy.

Method: The study was conducted using patients taking chloroquine (CQ), referred by the Rheumatology Department to the Ophthalmology Department at Tygerberg Academic Hospital. Group A consisted of 59 patients on CQ for less than 5 years, and Group B consisted of 53 patients on CQ for more than 5 years. A 200 × 200 macula thickness map, 5-line raster SD-OCT on a Carl Zeiss Meditec Cirrus HD-OCT and FAF images on a Carl Zeiss Meditec Visucam 500 were recorded for 223 eyes. Images were reviewed independently, and then those of Groups A and B compared.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences between Groups A and B. The criteria included the internal limiting membrane and the retinal pigment epithelium (ILM-RPE) thickness, interdigitation zone integrity (p = 0.891, df = 1, χ² = 0.1876), ellipsoid zone integrity (p = 0.095, df = 2, χ² = 4.699) and FAF image irregularities (p = 0.479, df = 1, χ²= 4995978).

Conclusion: The inclusion of SD-OCT and FAF as objective tests into the prescribed screening guidelines does not appear to simplify the detection of subclinical injury in patients on chloroquine treatment.


Chloroquine Retinopathy, Fundus Auto Fluorescence, Spectral Domain Ocular Coherence Tomography,


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