Parafoveal and optic disc vessel density in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome: an optical coherence tomography angiography study

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2018 Jul;256(7):1235-1243. doi: 10.1007/s00417-018-3943-7. Epub 2018 Mar 25.


Aims: To compare optic disc perfusion, radial peripapillary capillaries (RPC) and macular vascular density, between normal subjects and subjects with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) using spectral-domain OCT angiography (OCTA).

Methods: Sixteen eyes of patients with mild OSAS, 17 eyes with moderate OSAS, 20 eyes with severe OSAS on polygraphy and 28 controls were evaluated with OCTA RT XR Avanti (AngioVue software, Optovue Inc., Fremont, CA). Optic nerve head (ONH), RPC and macular vessel density were measured. Clinical data, visual field parameters, and Spectral Domain OCT evaluation (retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness and ganglion cell complex (GCC) thickness) were recorded for all patients.

Results: ONH vascular flow (p = 0,396), RPC vascular density (automatized data "whole" p = 0,913, "peripapillary" p = 0,539, and segmented analysis with a topographic grid) and macular vascular density (foveal p = 0,484, parafoveal p = 0,491) were not significantly different between the four groups. FDT-Matrix™ and Humphrey 24/2 mean deviation were significantly lower in eyes with severe OSAS and were correlated to the apnea-hypopnea index. Retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness, Cup/Disc ratio, rim area, and ganglion cell complex (GCC) were not significantly modified.

Conclusions: OCTA did not detect reduced ONH, RPC, neither macular blood vessel density in eyes with OSAS. The precise mechanisms that link OSAS with optic nerve pathologies remain unclear: our study was not able to demonstrate a vascular impact by OCTA examination.

Keywords: FDT-Matrix; OCT angiography; Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome; Optic nerve; Vascularization; perimetry.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography / methods*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fovea Centralis / blood supply*
  • Fovea Centralis / pathology
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / diagnosis
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / etiology*
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Male
  • Microcirculation
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Fibers / pathology
  • Optic Disk / blood supply*
  • Optic Disk / pathology
  • Polysomnography
  • Prognosis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / pathology
  • Retinal Vessels / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*
  • Visual Fields