Structure-Function Correlation Using OCT Angiography And Microperimetry In Diabetic Retinopathy

Clin Ophthalmol. 2019 Nov 11;13:2181-2188. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S220877. eCollection 2019.


Purpose: To evaluate macular vasculature in diabetic retinopathy (DR) with optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) and to correlate vessel density (VD) with retinal sensitivity (RS) as a way to assess structural and functional findings in DR.

Design: Prospective observational cross-sectional study.

Methods: Diabetic patients with DR but no clinically significant diabetic macular edema (DME) and healthy subjects were included in this study. All of them underwent comprehensive ophthalmic examination, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), OCTA with RS-3000 Advance AngioScan (Nidek, Gamagori, Japan) and microperimetry with MP-3 (Nidek, Gamagori, Japan). Retinal vascular density measured by OCT angiography in 9 areas was correlated with RS in the same 9 areas by Spearman correlation.

Results: In this study, 50 subjects were enrolled: 25 eyes of diabetic patients with DR and 25 eyes of non-diabetic subjects. Diabetic patients mean age was 51.88±13.62 years; non-diabetic subjects were 43.48±13.42 years. The BCVA was 20/25 in the diabetic group and 20/20 in the non-diabetic group. Mean RS was decreased in the DR group (27.68±2.71 dB) compared to the non-diabetic group (31.68±1.46 dB) (p<0.05) and in the 9 studied areas (p<0.05). Mean VD was decreased in the DR group compared to non-diabetics (p<0.05) and in 7 of the 9 areas (except temporal superior and inferior squares) (p<0.05). Correlations by areas between VD and RS were assessed, we found moderate correlation in the area temporal to the fovea (r=0.501, p=0.01) in the DR group but not in the non-diabetic subjects. There were no other statistical significant correlations with this pattern.

Conclusion: DR without DME results in a retinal VD decreased that might be the cause of a reduction of RS in one of the studied areas. Microangiopathic changes are correlated with microperimetry sensitivity drop in the temporal to the fovea grid but not in the other studied grids.

Keywords: diabetic retinopathy; retinal sensitivity; vessel density.