Optical coherence tomography angiography of optic nerve head and parafovea in multiple sclerosis

Br J Ophthalmol. 2014 Oct;98(10):1368-73. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2013-304547. Epub 2014 May 15.


Aims: To investigate swept-source optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiography in the optic nerve head (ONH) and parafoveal regions in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Methods: Fifty-two MS eyes and 21 healthy control (HC) eyes were included. There were two MS subgroups: 38 MS eyes without an optic neuritis (ON) history (MS -ON), and 14 MS eyes with an ON history (MS +ON). The OCT images were captured by high-speed 1050 nm swept-source OCT. The ONH flow index (FI) and parafoveal FI were quantified from OCT angiograms.

Results: The mean ONH FI was 0.160 ± 0.010 for the HC group, 0.156 ± 0.017 for the MS-ON group, and 0.140 ± 0.020 for the MS+ON group. The ONH FI of the MS+ON group was reduced by 12.5% compared to HC eyes (p=0.004). A higher percentage of MS+ON eyes had abnormal ONH FI compared to HC patients (43% vs 5%, p=0.01). Mean parafoveal FIs were 0.126 ± 0.007, 0.127 ± 0.010, and 0.129 ± 0.005 for the HC, MS-ON, and MS +ON groups, respectively, and did not differ significantly among them. The coefficient of variation (CV) of intravisit repeatability and intervisit reproducibility were 1.03% and 4.53% for ONH FI, and 1.65% and 3.55% for parafoveal FI.

Conclusions: Based on OCT angiography, the FI measurement is feasible, highly repeatable and reproducible, and it is suitable for clinical measurement of ONH and parafoveal perfusion. The ONH FI may be useful in detecting damage from ON and quantifying its severity.

Keywords: Imaging; Optic Nerve; Retina.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography*
  • Fovea Centralis / blood supply*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Optic Disk / blood supply*
  • Optic Neuritis / physiopathology*
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retinal Vessels / physiology*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Young Adult