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Deep-Layer Microvasculature Dropout by Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography and Microstructure of Parapapillary Atrophy


Purpose:To investigate the association between the microstructure of β-zone parapapillary atrophy (βPPA) and parapapillary deep-layer microvasculature dropout assessed by optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A). Methods:Thirty-seven eyes with βPPA devoid of the Bruch's membrane (BM) (γPPA) ranging between completely absent and discontinuous BM were matched by severity of the visual field (VF) damage with 37 eyes with fully intact BM (βPPA+BM) based on the spectral-domain (SD) OCT imaging. Parapapillary deep-layer microvasculature dropout was defined as a dropout of the microvasculature within choroid or scleral flange in the βPPA on the OCT-A. The widths of βPPA, γPPA, and βPPA+BM were measured on six radial SD-OCT images. Prevalence of the dropout was compared between eyes with and without γPPA. Logistic regression was performed for evaluating association of the dropout with the width of βPPA, γPPA, and βPPA+BM, and the γPPA presence. Results:Eyes with γPPA had significantly higher prevalence of the dropout than did those without γPPA (75.7% versus 40.8%; P = 0.004). In logistic regression, presence and longer width of the γPPA, worse VF mean deviation, and presence of focal lamina cribrosa defects were significantly associated with the dropout (P < 0.05), whereas width of the βPPA and βPPA+BM, axial length, and choroidal thickness were not (P > 0.10). Conclusions:Parapapillary deep-layer microvasculature dropout was associated with the presence and larger width of γPPA, but not with the βPPA+BM width. Presence and width of the exposed scleral flange, rather than the retinal pigmented epithelium atrophy, may be associated with deep-layer microvasculature dropout.

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