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Quantitative measurement of vascular density and flow using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) in patients with central retinal vein occlusion: Can OCTA help in distinguishing ischemic from non-ischemic type?

BACKGROUND: To evaluate microvascular changes and quantitative parameters in patients with central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) by using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) and finding difference between presumably ischemic and non ischemic CRVO.

METHODS: Patients with CRVO (31) and healthy control (20) were enrolled in this observational case control study. The OCTA was done for each patient and control subject. In macular area 2 images were taken for each eye (3 × 3 mm and 8 × 8 mm). The images were analyzed at three capillary plexuses (superficial and deep retinal capillary layers and choriocapillaris layer).

RESULTS: Thirty-one patients with CRVO (mean age 60.00 ± 13.72 years) and 20 healthy age/gender matched subjects (mean age 54.10 ± 12.33 years) were enrolled in this study (p = 0.095). The mean visual acuity of patients was 0.47 ± 0.54 LogMAR. Eyes with CRVO as compared with fellow eyes and control group showed significant reduction of flow in superficial (1.171 ± 0.262 vs. 1.362 ± 0.285 vs. 1.453 ± 0.105) and deep capillary plexus (1.042 ± 0.402 vs. 1.331 ± 0.315 vs. 1.526 ± 0.123) and choriocapillaris (1.206 ± 0.543 vs. 1.841 ± 0.308 vs. 1.966 ± 0.05) and vascular density in superficial (45.92 ± 4.2 vs. 50.99 ± 4.35 vs. 52.85 ± 2.99) and deep (48.03 ± 4.71 vs. 55.86 ± 3.81 vs. 58.2 ± 2.65) capillary plexuses. Some parameters (flow of both retinal capillary plexuses and parafoveal vascular density in deep plexus) showed significantly reduction in fellow eyes than control group. The parameters including flow [superficial (1.014 ± 0.264 vs. 1.279 ± 0.19) and deep (0.873 ± 0.442 vs. 1.152 ± 0.32) capillary plexuses and choriocapillaris (0.79 ± 0.327 vs. 1.424 ± 0.51)] and vascular density [superficial (44.24 ± 2.13 vs. 46.58 ± 4.13) and deep (45.28 ± 3.5 vs. 49.32 ± 3.94) capillary plexuses] were lower significantly in ischemic type than non ischemic CRVO. The most damaged parameter was flow in deep capillary plexus. The model with smallest Akaike information criterion and Bayesian information criterion was chosen as the best model. For easier calculation, we also calculated the reduced model. By choosing the threshold of 12.6, the formula [3.9 × F1S  + 0.8 × F3S ] can diagnose the presumably ischemic CRVO from non ischemic type with AUC of 0.84, sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 69%. (F1S : flow in the central 1 mm-radius-circle of superficial plexus and F3S : flow in the central 3 mm-radius-circle of superficial plexus).

CONCLUSION AND RELEVANCE: In CRVO patients, the OCTA can accurately evaluate changes in microvascular structures. It may help in differentiation ischemic CRVO from non-ischemic CRVO.

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