: The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes of optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) parameters in diabetic retinopathy (DR) using an updated software with 3D projection artifact removal. : In this cross-sectional observational study, 192 eyes of 111 patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) and 55 eyes of 34 age-matched healthy subjects were included. Diabetic patients were divided into three subgroups: without DR, with mild non-proliferative DR, and with moderate-to-severe non-proliferative DR. All eyes underwent dilated fundoscopy along with 3x3mm and 6x6mm OCTA image acquisition. Vessel density (VD), retinal thickness and foveal avascular zone (FAZ) parameters were analyzed. Correlation analyses between OCTA parameters and DR severity were also performed. : There was a statistically significant difference in all OCTA parameters among groups, except for superficial foveal VD in 6x6mm scan and whole image retinal thickness in both 3x3mm and 6x6mm scans, while 3x3mm scan parameters were found to be diagnostically superior to the corresponding ones of 6x6mm scan. As the DR stage progressed, the mean VD values decreased. FD-300, which is the VD of a 300-μm width annulus surrounding FAZ, demonstrated the strongest inverse correlation with DR severity (r = -0.590/r = -0.562, < .001) and showed the highest area under the ROC curve (AUROC = 0.833 ± 0.030, < .001) in scan 3 × 3. : OCTA shows progressive decrease of VD parameters with increasing DR severity. Foveal VD, FAZ area, and perimeter are not very useful indexes due to the high interindividual variability of FAZ size. OCTA and specifically FD-300 may serve as a promising DR screening tool for detecting preclinical microvascular alterations.
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