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PURPOSE. The purpose of this study was to investigate the presence, configuration, and progression of peripapillary atrophy (PPA) relative to macular geographic atrophy (GA) in AMD. METHODS. Confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy images of 413 eyes of 413 patients with GA secondary to AMD (median age, 77.0 years) were evaluated for the presence and configuration of PPA at baseline. In addition, the progression of PPA and the regression of the shortest linear dimension between PPA and GA (‘‘buffer zone’’) were assessed in 164 eyes that had completed 12 months of follow-up. RESULTS. At baseline, PPA was present in 357 (86.4%) of 413 eyes, of which 330 eyes (79.9%) were classified as nonconfluent and 27 eyes (6.5%) as confluent PPA. At month 12, eight eyes had transformed from nonconfluent to confluent PPA. The median buffer zone at baseline was significantly smaller in these latter eyes than in eyes where the PPA remained nonconfluent (168.46 vs. 1451.64 lm; P < 0.001). The mean regression rate of the buffer zone was 163.0 lm/y (interquartile range, 77.2–281.3). CONCLUSIONS. Peripapillary atrophy is highly prevalent in eyes with GA due to AMD. Assessment of the buffer zone in eyes with nonconfluent PPA at baseline may be helpful to identify subjects at risk for the progression to confluent PPA. In future interventional clinical trials, it may be useful to exclude any eyes both with confluent PPA at baseline and at risk for development of confluent PPA over time to improve the accuracy of GA lesion size quantification and its enlargement over time.

Original publication




Journal article


Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Publication Date





2277 - 2282