A laser scanner ophthalmoscope was developed for in vivo fluorescence lifetime measurements at the human retina. Measurements were performed in 30 degree fundus images. The fundus was excited by pulses of 75 ps (FWHM). The dynamic fluorescence was detected in two spectral channels K1(490-560nm), K2(560-700 nm) by time-correlated single photon counting. The decay of fluorescence was three-exponentially. Local and global alterations in lifetimes were found between healthy subjects and patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and vessel occlusion. The lifetimes T1, T2, and T3 in both channels are changed to longer values in AMD and diabetic retinopathy in comparison with healthy subjects. The lifetime T2 in K1 is most sensitive to metabolic alterations in branch arterial vessel occlusion.

© 2009 OSA/SPIE

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