To quantitatively assess choriocapillaris (CC) flow deficits in eyes with diabetic retinopathy (DR) using swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography (SS-OCTA).
Diabetic subjects with different stages of DR and age-matched healthy subjects were recruited and imaged with SS-OCTA. The en face CC blood flow images were generated using previously published and validated algorithms. The percentage of CC flow deficits (FD%) and the mean CC flow deficit size were calculated in a 5-mm-diameter circle centered on the fovea from the 6×6-mm scans.
Forty-five diabetic subjects and 27 control subjects were included in the study. The CC FD% in diabetic eyes was on average 1.4-fold greater than in control eyes (12.34±4.14% vs 8.82±2.61%, P < 0.001). The mean CC FD size in diabetic eyes was on average 1.4-fold larger than in control eyes (2151.3± 650.8μm2 vs 1574.4±255.0 μm2, P < 0.001). No significant difference in CC FD% or mean CC FD size was observed between eyes with nonproliferative DR and eyes with proliferative DR (P = 1.000 and P = 1.000, respectively).
CC perfusion in DR can be objectively and quantitatively assessed with FD% and FD size. In the macular region, both CC FD% and CC FD size are increased in eyes with DR. SS-OCTA provides new insights for the investigations of CC perfusion status in diabetes in vivo.

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