Purpose: Macular telangiectasia Type 2 is a bilateral, progressive, potentially blinding retinal disease characterized by both vascular and neurodegenerative signs. Both the area of the break in the ellipsoid zone seen in "en face" optical coherence tomographic (OCT) images and microperimetric focal retinal sensitivity loss have been proposed as potential measures of progression in macular telangiectasia. The authors aimed to assess the characteristics and interrelationship of these structural and functional disease markers from the data collected in a phase one clinical trial of ciliary neurotrophic factor in macular telangiectasia.
Methods: Orthogonal topographic (en face) maps of the ellipsoid zone were generated from Heidelberg Spectralis OCT volume scans (15 × 10° area, 30-μm B-scan intervals) or Zeiss Cirrus HD-OCT 4000 512 × 128 cube scans. Mesopic microperimetry was performed on CenterVue MAIA perimeters, using a Goldmann III stimulus in a custom test grid. Structural and functional data were analyzed by two methods: by calculating aggregate loss and by simple thresholding. The alignment quality of structural and functional data was also evaluated.
Results: Overall, the break area showed a good correlation with aggregate sensitivity loss (ρ = 0.834, P < 0.0001, 95% confidence interval 0.716-0.906) but also with the number of test points below a threshold value (e.g., <20 dB: ρ = 0.843, P < 0.0001, 95% confidence interval 0.755-0.902). Significant misalignment of the MAIA test grid was apparent in 13/48 visits of 7/14 eyes.
Conclusion: The authors found a good correlation between ellipsoid zone break area and function loss. En face OCT mapping of the ellipsoid zone appears to demonstrate structural change before mesopic microperimetry can detect a focal loss of retinal sensitivity. Thresholding offers a quick alternative to calculating aggregate sensitivity loss.