MACULAR MICROVASCULAR NETWORKS IN HEALTHY PEDIATRIC SUBJECTS


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Abstract

Purpose:To report optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) values in healthy pediatric eyes and to identify factors that may modify these values.Methods:In this prospective observational cross-sectional study, macular OCTA images were acquired from healthy pediatric patients. Main outcome measures were 1) foveal avascular zone (FAZ) area at the level of the superficial retinal capillary plexus (SCP); 2) SCP and deep retinal capillary plexus (DCP) perfusion density (based on the area of vessels); 3) SCP and DCP vessel density (based on a map with vessels of 1-pixel width); and 4) CC perfusion density. Multiple regression analysis was performed to assess the effect of age, sex, ethnicity, refraction, and foveal macular thickness (FMT) on OCTA parameters.Results:Seventy-seven eyes from 52 subjects (23 male and 29 female) were included in analysis. Mean age was 11.1 ± 3.3 years (range = 5.0–17.0 years). Twenty-nine (55.8%) subjects were white, 14 (27.0%) Hispanic, 8 (15.4%) Asian, and 1 (1.8%) African-American. Mean refraction was −0.1 ± 2.4 diopters (D) (range = −5.75 to +9.0 D). Mean FMT was 248.6 ± 18.6 μm. Larger FAZ area was significantly associated with older age (P = 0.014). Furthermore, larger FAZ area was associated with reduced FMT (P < 0.0001). Male sex was associated only with increased SCP perfusion density (P = 0.042). Increased CC perfusion density was associated with younger age (P = 0.022).Conclusion:We report data for pediatric OCTA parameters in healthy subjects. Several variables influence the density of macular microvascular networks, and these factors should be considered in the OCTA study of pediatric eye disorders.

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