RETINAL CAPILLARY DENSITY IN PATIENTS WITH BIRDSHOT CHORIORETINOPATHY

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Abstract

Purpose:

To quantify retinal capillary density and determine its correlation with visual acuity in patients with birdshot chorioretinopathy (BCR).

Methods:

Patients with BCR and age-matched controls were imaged using a commercially available spectral domain optical coherence tomography angiography system (RTVue- XR Avanti; Optovue, Inc). We used the integrated software of the optical coherence tomography angiography device to analyze the foveal avascular zone area and the capillary density in the full retina as well as in the superficial capillary plexus and deep capillary plexus. We assessed the correlation between these parameters and visual acuity.

Results:

Seventy-four eyes of 42 study participants (37 eyes of 21 BCR and 37 eyes of 21 healthy subjects) were included in this observational cross-sectional study. Capillary density of the full retina, superficial capillary plexus, and deep capillary plexus were significantly decreased in BCR compared with the healthy control group (P < 0.01). Visual acuity in patients with BCR was significantly associated with the capillary density of the superficial capillary plexus, deep capillary plexus, and full retina (P < 0.01) but not with the area of the foveal avascular zone.

Conclusion:

The decrease in visual acuity in patients with BCR is associated with retinal vascular impairment. Vessel density of the retinal capillary plexuses may be a promising imaging biomarker for BCR disease severity.

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