Smaller Foveal Avascular Zone in Deep Capillary Plexus Is Associated with Better Visual Acuity in Patients after Macula-off Retinal Detachment Surgery

Heijan Ng, Ellen C La Heij, Eleni-Rosalina Andrinopoulou, Jan C van Meurs, Koenraad A Vermeer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To associate the change in the foveal avascular zone (FAZ) and vessel density (VD) with final best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) in eyes after macula-off rhegmatogenous retinal detachment surgery, and to investigate the evolution of FAZ and VD during 12 months of follow-up.

Methods: We prospectively evaluated 47 patients with macula-off rhegmatogenous retinal detachment and healthy fellow eyes. At 1.5, 3.0, 6.0, and 12.0 months postoperatively, optical coherence tomography angiography scans were obtained from both eyes on a 3.0 × 3.0 mm macula-centered grid. En face images of the superficial vascular plexus, intermediate capillary plexus and deep capillary plexus were used to quantify FAZ and VD. BCVA was assessed with ETDRS-charts (logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution).At 12 months postoperatively, the association between the change in optical coherence tomography angiography parameters and visual function in study eyes was evaluated using the Spearman correlation coefficient. We calculated the BCVA difference and the percentage difference of FAZ and VD between the study and control eye. The evolution of FAZ and VD was investigated with linear mixed-effects models with nested random effects (eyes nested within patients).

Results: At 12 months postoperatively, FAZ difference of the deep capillary plexus and BCVA difference were correlated (P = 0.0004, rs = 0.5). Furthermore, there was no evidence that FAZ and VD changed during follow-up.

Conclusions: Although FAZ and VD remained stable during 12 months after surgery for macula-off rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, a smaller FAZ in the deep capillary plexus is associated with better BCVA.

Translational relevance: Reduction in FAZ area may be caused by angiogenesis to counteract ischemia, therefore therapeutic stimulation of angiogenesis could be beneficial to visual recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalTranslational vision science & technology
Volume9
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sep 2020

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