The following is a summary of “Retinal OCT findings in acute central retinal artery occlusion of varying severity at different disease stages – a retrospective, observational study,” published in the June 2023 issue of Ophthalmology by Mangla et al.
For a study, researchers aimed to analyze optical coherence tomography (OCT) changes in eyes affected by acute central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) at various disease levels.
The study involved patients with acute CRAO lasting less than 7 days who underwent OCT imaging at different intervals. Based on OCT findings, cases were categorized into mild, moderate, and severe severity groups. The OCT scans were assessed and divided into 4 intervals based on symptom duration.
They reported 38 patients contributed 39 eyes, resulting in 96 OCT scans for CRAO. At the presentation, there were 11 cases of mild, 16 cases of moderate, and 12 cases of severe CRAO. Mild cases of CRAO exhibited a higher prevalence of middle retinal layer opacification, which caused inner retinal layer thinning over time. In moderate CRAO, there was complete opacification of the inner retinal layer, leading to progressive retina thinning over time. The prominent middle limiting membrane (p-MLM) sign was observed in mild and moderate CRAO but not severe CRAO. It gradually reduced over time.
Higher grades of CRAO showed additional OCT findings such as inner retinal fluid, neurosensory detachment, internal limiting membrane detachment, hyperreflective foci, and posterior vitreous opacities; irrespective of the CRAO grade, the outcome observed was progressive thinning of the inner retinal layer over time.
Investigators concluded that OCT is a valuable tool for assessing the severity of retinal ischemia, disease stage, and tissue damage mechanisms and predicting visual outcomes in patients with CRAO.