In vivo choroidal vascular lesions in diabetes on swept-source optical coherence tomography

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Diabetes induces microvascular diseases including diabetic retinopathy and choroidopathy which reciprocally promote the pathogenesis, although optical coherence tomography images of diabetic choroidopathy remains to be documented. Here we evaluated the qualitative characteristics of choroidal vascular lesions in patients with diabetes and their association with diabetic retinopathy on swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) images. We retrospectively reviewed 110 consecutive eyes of 110 patients with diabetes and 35 eyes of 35 healthy subjects for whom SS-OCT images (6x6-mm scans centered on the fovea) of sufficient quality were acquired. The curve of chorioretinal sections was flattened using Bruch's membrane as a reference surface, followed by generation of en-face images. We characterized choroidal vascular lesions and evaluated their association with the logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution visual acuity (logMAR VA), retinal and choroidal thicknesses, and diabetic retinopathy severity. En-face SS-OCT images showed unvisualized vessels in Sattler's layer in 33 eyes (30.0%). Focal narrowing was seen in choroidal vessels in Haller's layer in 56 eyes (50.9%). The choroidal vessels ended in the superficial or middle portion of Haller's layer, referred to as vascular stumps, in 20 eyes (18.2%). Diabetic eyes had these findings more frequently than nondiabetic eyes. The subfoveal choroid was thicker in eyes with focal vascular narrowing and vascular stumps than in eyes without such lesions. Vascular stumps in Haller's layer were significantly related to diabetic retinopathy severity, logMAR VA, and central retinal and choroidal thicknesses. These novel findings on SS-OCT images would promote the better understanding of complicated pathogenesis in diabetic retinopathy and choroidopathy.




Murakami, T., Uji, A., Suzuma, K., Dodo, Y., Yoshitake, S., Ghashut, R., … Yoshimura, N. (2016). In vivo choroidal vascular lesions in diabetes on swept-source optical coherence tomography. PLoS ONE, 11(8).

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