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Skin Autofluorescence is Elevated in Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  1. Douwe J Mulder,
  2. Matthanja Bieze,
  3. Reindert Graaff,
  4. Andries Smit,
  5. Anneke Hooymans
  1. University Medical Center Groningen, Netherlands
  1. To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: udomulder{at}


Background/aims: Skin Autofluorescence (AF) is a non-invasive marker for Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGEs) in tissue, making use of their characteristic AF pattern. The aim of this study was to investigate whether skin AF is increased in patients with neovascular AMD compared with healthy controls.

Methods: Skin AF was assessed in 73 consecutive patients with active and documented neovascular AMD without evidence for diabetic or hypertensive retinopathy and in 31 healthy age matched controls. Exclusion criteria were: known renal disease, current inflammatory or malignant disease, or skin type V or VI. Skin AF was measured on the forearm and was calculated as a ratio of mean intensities detected from the skin between 420-600 and 300-420 nm. Student’s t-test and chi-square test were used to compare differences between groups.

Results: Skin AF was increased in neovascular AMD compared with controls (2.57 ± 0.68 vs. 2.23 ± 0.63 * 10-2 arbitrary units; p = 0.018). In patients without vascular risk factors or cardiovascular disease, skin AF was not significantly higher compared with controls. Skin AF correlated with age in both patients and controls.

Conclusion: Skin AF is increased in patients with neovascular AMD, suggesting that AMD is accompanied by enhanced systemic AGE accumulation, which may implicate a role in the pathophysiology of AMD.

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