Optical coherence tomography angiography in acute unilateral nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy: A comparison with the fellow eye and with eyes with papilledema

Uppal Gandhi, Jay Chhablani, Akshay Badakere, Ramesh Kekunnaya, Mohammed Abdul Rasheed, Abhilash Goud, Preeti Patil Chhablani
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology 2018, 66 (8): 1144-1148

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to detect the optic nerve head (ONH) and peripapillary perfusion in eyes with acute nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) compared to the fellow normal eyes using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) and to compare with nonischemic disc edema (papilledema).

Methods: Retrospective analysis of patients with unilateral NAION who underwent OCTA was performed. All patients underwent comprehensive ocular examination including visual field testing. ONH was imaged using 6 mm × 6 mm scan by Topcon DRI Triton® OCT system. Vascularity loss was analyzed using ImageJ software in diseased eyes in comparison to normal fellow eyes and eyes with papilledema.

Results: Twenty-one patients (15 males, 6 females) with unilateral NAION and 9 patients (18 eyes) with papilledema were included in the study. In eyes with NAION, two distinct patterns of loss of vasculature were noted - (a) diffuse loss of microvasculature cuff and vascular network around the optic disc in all the patients (100%) and (b) additional area of sectoral loss of vasculature extending from the disc in 12 of the 21 eyes (57.14%). All 18 eyes with papilledema showed loss of the microvasculature cuff; however, none showed the focal pattern of vascular defect. The mean area of the peripapillary vascular zone in eyes with NAION was significantly lesser than that in normals. Of the 12 eyes with NAION with focal loss of vasculature, 11 correlated with visual field defects (91.6%).

Conclusion: Deficient peripapillary choroidal vasculature is present in NAION and has a different pattern than in nonischemic disc edema and can cause corresponding visual field deficits.

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