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Quantifying choriocapillaris hypoperfusion in patients with choroidal neovascularization using swept-source OCT angiography



To compare choriocapillaris flow voids (FV) in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with age-matched normal controls using swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography (SS-OCTA).

Patients and methods

Eleven eyes of 11 subjects with neovascular AMD and 11 eyes of 11 age-similar normal subjects were imaged using SS-OCTA with a 6x6mm scanning pattern. Choriocapillaris FV, defined as a percentage of regions determined to have flow deficits divided by the total scanned region, was measured using a one standard deviation thresholding algorithm developed from a database of age-similar normal subjects.


Choriocapillaris FV was more extensive in patients with choroidal neovascularization (CNV) compared to age-similar normal subjects (FV: 20.56±4.95, 95% CI: 17.64-23.49 vs FV: 10.95±2.08, 95% CI: 9.73-12.18, respectively; P=0.0001). FV within a two-degree margin surrounding CNV in wet AMD subjects (FV: 35.04±9.34; 95% CI: 29.52-40.56) was increased compared to normal subjects (P<0.001). FV of the region outside the two-degree margin surrounding CNV (FV: 19.61±6.08, 95% CI: 16.02-23.20) was increased compared to age-similar controls (P=0.0002). In neovascular AMD eyes, FV was greater within two degrees of the margin of CNV than in the remainder of the macula (margin: 35.04±9.34; outside: 19.61±6.08; P=0.002), and CNV lesion area was positively correlated with FV (correlation coefficient =0.84; 95% CI: 0.49-0.96; P=0.001).


Choriocapillaris flow deficits were significantly greater in wet AMD subjects than age-similar normal subjects, suggesting that choroidal hypo-perfusion likely plays a role in the pathogenesis of neovascular AMD. Recognition of choriocapillaris flow deficits in patients with AMD may facilitate earlier diagnosis and identify alternative therapeutic targets for this multifactorial disease.

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