Choroidal Vessel Diameters in Pseudoexfoliation and Pseudoexfoliation Glaucoma Analyzed Using Spectral-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography

J Glaucoma. 2017 Apr;26(4):383-389. doi: 10.1097/IJG.0000000000000629.


Purpose of the study: The purpose of the study was to analyze choroidal vessel diameters in pseudoexfoliation (PXF) and pseudoexfoliation glaucoma (PXFG) using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT).

Materials and methods: Fifty patients (100 eyes) with PXF and PXFG who underwent high-definition 1-line raster SD-OCT imaging at New England Eye Center, Boston, were retrospectively identified and divided into unilateral PXFG (26 patients, 52 eyes), unilateral PXF (4 patients, 8 eyes), bilateral PXFG (4 patients, 8 eyes), and bilateral PXF (16 patients, 32 eyes). Eyes with concomitant chorioretinal pathology, history of shunting/filtering for glaucoma, and significant anisometropia were excluded. SD-OCT scans were divided into subfoveal, central, and peripheral zones and choroidal vessel diameters were measured.

Results: In patients with unilateral PXFG, mean choroidal vessel diameter was 12.9 μm smaller in the affected eyes when compared with their contralateral eyes (45.7 vs. 58.6 μm; P<0.0001) with the greatest reduction (16.6 μm) in the subfoveal zone (49.0 vs. 65.6 μm; P<0.0001). In patients with unilateral PXF, the mean choroidal vascular diameter was 13.3 μm smaller in the affected eyes when compared with their contralateral eyes (42.8 vs. 56.1 μm; P=0.02). As expected, no significant difference was observed between the 2 eyes of patients with bilateral PXFG (45.5 vs. 45.7 μm; P=0.95) and bilateral PXF (51.4 vs. 50.2 μm; P=0.52).

Conclusions: Choroidal vessel diameters are smaller in the affected eyes of patients with unilateral PXF and PXFG when compared with their contralateral unaffected eyes. These changes appear to be independent of the presence or absence of glaucoma. Future studies may identify the choroidal vascular changes and their relationship with the pathogenesis of these conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Vessels / pathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Choroid / blood supply*
  • Choroid / pathology
  • Exfoliation Syndrome / complications
  • Exfoliation Syndrome / pathology*
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / etiology
  • Glaucoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Middle Aged
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods