The purpose of this study was to compare perfusion parameters of the parafovea with scans outside the parafovea to find an area most susceptible to changes secondary to diabetic retinopathy (DR).
Patients with different DR severity levels as well as controls were included in this cross-sectional clinical trial. Seven standardized 3 × 3 mm areas were recorded with Swept Source Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography: one centered on the fovea, three were temporal to the fovea, and three nasally to the optic disc. The capillary perfusion density (PD) of the superficial capillary complex (SCC) and deep capillary complex (DCC) as well as the fractal dimension (FD) were generated. Statistical analyses were done with R software.
One hundred ninety-two eyes (33 controls, 51 no-DR, 41 mild DR, 37 moderate/severe DR, and 30 proliferative DR), of which 105 patients with diabetes and 25 healthy controls were included (59 ± 15 years; 62 women). Mean PD of the DCC was significantly less in patients without DR (parafovea = 0.48 ± 0.03; temporal = 0.48 ± 0.02; and nasal = 0.48 ± 0.03) compared to controls (parafovea = 0.49 ± 0.02; temporal = 0.50 ± 0.02; and nasal = 0.50 ± 0.03). With increasing DR severity, PD and FD of the SCC and DCC further decreased.
Capillary perfusion of the retina is affected early by diabetes. PD of the DCC was significantly reduced in patients with diabetes who did not have any clinical signs of DR. The capillary network outside the parafovea was more susceptible to capillary perfusion deficits compared to the capillaries close to the fovea.
clinicaltrial.gov, NCT03765112, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03765112?term=NCT03765112&rank=1.