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Artifact-Removed Quantitative Analysis of Choriocapillaris Flow Voids.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate choriocapillaris flow voids (FV) with a new optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) image processing strategy that can eliminate artifacts caused by vitreous opacities, sub-retinal pigment epithelium fluid and deposits, and subretinal fluid (SRF) by thresholding the en-face OCT image of the outer retina.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed medical records of patients with drusen and patients with active central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC). FV number (FVn), average area (FVav), and maximum area (FVmax) and the percentage of nonperfused choriocapillaris area (PNPCA) obtained using the proposed strategy were compared with those obtained by removing only artifacts caused by the superficial capillary plexus (SCP).

RESULTS: The SRF group included 21 eyes with active CSC and the drusen group included 29 eyes with nonexudative age-related macular degeneration. FVav, FVmax, FVn, and PNPCA obtained using the algorithm were significantly lower than those obtained by removing only SCP-related artefacts in both groups (all p<0.05). The algorithm was also able to remove 96.9% of artifacts secondary to vitreous opacities and all artifacts secondary to serous pigment epithelial detachments.

CONCLUSION: Choriocapillaris nonperfusion areas on OCTA images may be overestimated in eyes with RPE abnormalities and SRF due to artifacts. These artifact areas on choriocapillaris OCTA images can be removed using thresholded images of the outer retina en-face OCT scans. Our new artifact-removal strategy is useful in the assessment of choriocapillaris FV in eyes with SRF, drusen, drusen-like deposits, and pigment epithelial detachment.

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