Above: An autoflurence image of sectoral retinitis pigmentosa
Autofluorescence imaging is a specialized imaging technique that uses a low energy laser to excite a biomarker called Lipofuscin. This can help doctors detect disease processes in the eye that affect the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), which is a layer of cells in the retina that can be thought of as the caretakers of the retina. Lipofusion is present in the RPE in certain quantities in a healthy eye and can be present in greater quantities or missing in an eye with a disease process occurring.
This kind of imaging technique highlights those portions of the retina that are showing RPE dysfunction and can aid in earlier detection. Your doctor may recommend this type of imaging if he or she suspects a disease that affects the RPE.