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Lun Liu, Yong Wang, Hua Xing Liu, Jian Gao; Peripapillary Region Perfusion and Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness Abnormalities in Diabetic Retinopathy Assessed by OCT Angiography. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2019;8(4):14. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.4.14.
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To quantify peripapillary region perfusion and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness abnormalities in different stages of diabetic retinopathy (DR) using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA).
Seventy-two eyes of 72 patients with diabetes were included as follows: 23 with no DR (No DR), 24 with mild-to-moderate nonproliferative DR (mild DR), 25 with severe nonproliferative to proliferative DR (severe DR), and 26 age-matched healthy controls. All eyes underwent a 4.5 × 4.5-mm rectangle scan centered on the optic nerve head. Vessel densities and RNFL thickness for the peripapillary area were calculated.
A statistically significant decrease in vessel density was found in the peripapillary region with increased DR severity (all P < 0.001). There were significant correlations between DR severity and vessel density in the peripapillary region (P < 0.001), but not between DR severity and RNFL thickness (P > 0.05). There was a significantly positive correlation between vessel density and RNFL thickness of the peripapillary region in the mild DR group (r = 0.726, P < 0.001) but not in the no DR group (r = 0.008, P = 0.973) or the severe DR group (r = 0.281, P = 0.173).
Vessel density in the peripapillary region correlated significantly with DR severity, decreasing with DR aggravation. There was no obvious correlation observed between RNFL thickness and DR severity.
Vessel density in the peripapillary region, assessed by OCTA technology, can be potentially useful for analyzing and monitoring retinal nerve changes in DR patients.
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