Peripapillary vessel density in unilateral preperimetric glaucoma

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Purpose: To investigate vessel density (VD) of radial peripapillary capillaries (RPC) and structural alterations in patients with unilateral preperimetric glaucoma (PPG) using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). Methods: This cross-sectional observational study included 13 untreated patients with unilateral PPG. PPG eyes had larger excavation and abnormal thinning of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and/or ganglion cell complex (GCC) compared with fellow eyes (F). Both RNFL and GCC thickness in F were statistically within normal limits and/or borderline. The RPC VD on optic disc (idVD), of peripapillary (ppVD) and whole image (wiVD) scan area was measured. Twenty healthy eyes (H) served as controls. Structural and vascular para-meters obtained by spectral-domain OCT/OCTA (Optovue; Fremont, CA) were compared between PPG, F and H. Results: Mean RNFL and GCC average thickness in microns differed significantly (p<0.001) between PPG (82.4±7.1, 81.4±5.9), F (91.0±7.1, 88.5±3.8) and H (103.5±6.0, 99.3±5.7). PPG compared with F showed significantly (p<0.001) lower mean ppVD (43.8% ±3.0% versus 47.8%±3.2%) and wiVD (45.9%±3.5% versus 50.1%±3.9%). Mean ppVD (49.7%±2.4%) and wiVD (52.6%±3.0%) in H were not significantly higher than in F. Mean idVD showed no significant differences among the 3 groups. Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUROCs) for RNFL, GCC, ppVD and wiVD between PPG and H were excellent (>0.9). AUROCs between F and H demonstrated an excellent diagnostic ability for structural parameters and a poor one (<0.7) for vascular parameters. Conclusion: Affected eyes of patients with unilateral PPG demonstrated significant RPC dropout. Clinically unaffected eyes showed thinner structural parameters but no significant microvasculature differences compared with non-glaucomatous eyes. Diagnostic ability of peripapillary vascular parameters was not superior to structural measurements. Microvascular dysfunction seems to be an early but not a primary event in glaucoma continuum at the stage of undetectable visual field loss. OCTA can be useful in early glaucoma diagnosis.




Mangouritsas, G., Koutropoulou, N., Ragkousis, A., Boutouri, E., & Diagourtas, A. (2019). Peripapillary vessel density in unilateral preperimetric glaucoma. Clinical Ophthalmology, 13, 2511–2519.

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