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Observational Study
, 57 (9), OCT519-25

Linking Retinal Microvasculature Features With Severity of Diabetic Retinopathy Using Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography

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Observational Study

Linking Retinal Microvasculature Features With Severity of Diabetic Retinopathy Using Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography

Devanshi Bhanushali et al. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci.

Abstract

Purpose: To correlate retinal vascular features with severity and systemic indicators of diabetic retinopathy (DR) using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA).

Methods: A total of 209 eyes of 122 type 2 diabetes mellitus patients with DR and 60 eyes of 31 normal Indian subjects underwent OCTA imaging. The diabetic retinopathy patients were graded as having either nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR: mild, moderate, and severe NPDR using Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study classification) or proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). Local fractal analysis was applied to the superficial and deep retinal OCTA images. Foveal avascular zone area (FAZ in mm2); vessel density (%); spacing between large vessels (%); and spacing between small vessels (%) were analyzed. Sensitivity and specificity of vascular parameters were assessed with receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve.

Results: Normal eyes had a significantly lower FAZ area, higher vessel density, and lower spacing between large and small vessels compared with DR grades (P < 0.001). In the superficial layer, PDR and severe NPDR had higher spacing between large vessels than mild and moderate NPDR (P = 0.04). However, mild NPDR had higher spacing between the small vessels (P < 0.001). Spacing between the large vessels in the superficial retinal layer correlated positively with HbA1c (r = 0.25, P = 0.03); fasting (r = 0.23, P = 0.02); and postprandial (r = 0.26, P = 0.03) blood sugar. The same spacing in the deep retinal vascular plexus had the highest area under the ROC curve (0.99 ± 0.01) and was uniformly elevated in all diabetic eyes (P > 0.05).

Conclusions: Spacing between the large vessels in the superficial and deep retinal layers had superior diagnostic performance than overall vessel density.

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