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Temporal Optic Disc Microvasculature Dropout in Glaucoma



To assess the clinical characteristics of focal temporal optic disc microvasculature dropout (MvD-D) in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) patients.


One hundred and eighty-seven eyes of 187 POAG patients having MvD-D on Swept-Source optical coherence tomography angiography (SS-OCTA) were enrolled. Three groups were categorized according to the presence of temporal MvD-D within the upper and lower 45° of the fovea-Bruch's membrane (BM) opening axis: focal temporal MvD-D (Group 1, isolated focal temporal MvD-D; 44 eyes), supero/inferotemporal MvD-D (Group 2, MvD-D only in superotemporal or inferotemporal sector; 78 eyes), and diffuse temporal MvD-D (Group 3, MvD-D spanning ≥ 2 consecutive sectors, at least one of which being temporal sector; 65 eyes).


Group 1 had a significantly longer axial length and β-zone parapapillary atrophy without BM. There also was a larger horizontal tilt angle and ovality index than the other two groups (P < 0.001). Group 1 had a significantly thinner retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) in the temporal sector than did Group 2 (P < 0.001), despite similar thicknesses in all other areas (P > 0.05). Group 3 had significantly worse visual field mean deviation and thinner RNFL than the other two groups in all areas other than the nasal, temporal, and superotemporal sectors (P < 0.05).


Focal temporal MvD-D detected by SS-OCTA was associated with a longer axial length and related subsequent morphological changes of the optic disc and parapapillary area. This suggests that stretching of the optic disc consequent on axial elongation may lead to absence of temporal optic disc microvasculature.

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