Quantitative analysis of retinal perfusion in mice using optical coherence tomography angiography

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Abstract

Purpose:

To evaluate repeatability of the quantitative analysis of vessel density in the retinas of healthy mice using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A).

Methods:

Seventeen eyes of seventeen healthy mice aged 10–15 weeks (young) and 75–95 weeks (old) were included in this study. OCT-A was performed using RTVue XR Avanti (Optovue Inc., Fremont, California, USA) under general anaesthesia. The retina was imaged twice using a 3 × 3 mm2 scan. Retinal thickness and flow density data in the superficial and deep retinal OCT angiograms were extracted and analysed.

Results:

The differences between the flow density values (whole en face) in the first and second sessions were non-significant (superficial retinal OCT angiogram: first session: 45.4 ± 4.1% (39.1–55.3%); second session: 46.1 ± 4.7% (39.1–59.1%); p = 0.14; deep retinal OCT angiogram: first session: 47.1 ± 3.8% (39.4–53.4%); second session: 47.3 ± 3.7% (39.4–53.8%); p = 0.50). The repeatability assessment of retinal thickness yielded intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) values ranging between (0.86–0.99) while the ICCs for the flow density measurements ranged from 0.87 to 0.92 for the superficial retinal OCT angiogram and 0.68 to 0.93 for the deep retinal OCT angiogram.

Conclusions:

Repeated OCT-A measurement of mice retinal vessel density (VD) revealed valid repeatability, indicating that this non-invasive technology is sufficient for longitudinal assessment of vascular changes in various mouse models and thereby opening the way to in-depth, experimental analysis of the vascular aspects of different retinal diseases and monitoring of disease progression and the effects of treatments.

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