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Stéphanie Hayek, Antoine Labbé, Emmanuelle Brasnu, Pascale Hamard, Christophe Baudouin; Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography Evaluation of Conjunctival Vessels During Filtering Surgery. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2019;8(4):4. doi: 10.1167/tvst.8.4.4.
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To evaluate the changes in conjunctival vascularization with optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) before and after filtering surgery and to correlate these results with filtering surgery success.
We evaluated 20 blebs of 20 patients after a first-time trabeculectomy. Conjunctival vascularization was quantified using ImageJ software. Eyes were classified into two groups according to the preoperative conjunctival vessel density: hypovascularized conjunctiva (HypoV; 10 eyes) and hypervascularized conjunctiva (HyperV; 10 eyes). The density of intraepithelial microcysts (0 to 3) was also analyzed.
There were significantly more needling procedures in the HyperV group, with 70% of the eyes undergoing needling during follow-up compared to 20% in the HypoV group (P = 0.012). In the HyperV group, 50% of the eyes required IOP-lowering eyedrops after surgery, compared to 10% in the HypoV group (P = 0.029). HypoV showed significantly more intraepithelial microcysts than did HyperV at 1 week (1.1 vs. 0.4, P = 0.0215), 1 month (2.2 vs. 0.4, P = 0.0003), and 6 months postoperatively (2.0 vs. 0.7, P = 0.0068). A statistically significant correlation was found between preoperative conjunctival vascular density and mean IOP at 1 week (r = 0.483, P = 0.038), 1 month (r = 0.714, P = 0.001), and 6 months postoperatively (r = 0.471, P = 0.043). There was no statistically significant correlation between the preoperative conjunctival vascularization density and the eyedrop-year rate (r = 0.036, P = 0.8704) or the preservative-year rate (r = 0.1444, P = 0.5107).
Poor conjunctival vascularization was associated with lower IOP and a higher number of intraepithelial microcysts evaluated with OCT-A. OCT-A provides a simple, noninvasive, and reproducible method to analyze and quantify bleb vessels before and after filtering surgery.
Several studies have demonstrated that highly vascularized blebs might be associated with a higher risk of failure. OCT-A may provide a dye-free, noncontact method for monitoring conjunctival vascularization after filtering surgery.
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