Correlating Changes in the Macular Microvasculature and Capillary Network to Peripheral Vascular Pathologic Features in Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy


Koulisis N, Moysidis SN, Yonekawa Y, Dai YL, Burkemper B, Wood EH, Lertjirachai I, Todorich B, Khundkar TZ, Chu Z, Wang RK, Williams GA, Drenser KA, Capone A, Trese MT, Nudleman E. Correlating Changes in the Macular Microvasculature and Capillary Network to Peripheral Vascular Pathologic Features in Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy. Ophthalmol Retina 2019;3(7):597-606.

Date Published:

2019 Jul


PURPOSE: To evaluate the macular microvasculature in patients with familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) using OCT angiography (OCTA) and to assess for peripheral vascular changes using widefield fluorescein angiography (WFA). DESIGN: Multicenter, retrospective, comparative, observational case series. PARTICIPANTS: We identified 411 patients with FEVR, examined between September 2014 and June 2018. Fifty-seven patients with FEVR and 60 healthy controls had OCTA images of sufficient quality for analysis. METHODS: Custom software was used to assess for layer-specific, quantitative changes in vascular density and morphologic features on OCTA by way of vessel density (VD), skeletal density (SD), fractal dimension (FD), vessel diameter index (VDI), and foveal avascular zone (FAZ). Widefield fluorescein angiography images were reviewed for peripheral vascular changes including capillary dropout, late-phase angiographic posterior and peripheral vascular leakage (LAPPEL), vascular dragging, venous-venous shunts, and arteriovenous shunts. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Macular microvascular parameters on OCTA and peripheral angiographic findings on WFA. RESULTS: OCT angiography analysis of 117 patients (187 eyes; 92 FEVR patients and 95 control participants) demonstrated significantly reduced VD, SD, and FD and greater VDI in patients with FEVR compared with controls in the nonsegmented retina, superficial retinal layer (SRL), and deep retinal layer (DRL). The FAZ was larger compared with that in control eyes in the DRL (P < 0.0001), but not the SRL (P = 0.52). Subanalysis by FEVR stage showed the same microvascular changes compared with controls for all parameters. Widefield fluorescein angiography analysis of 95 eyes (53 patients) with FEVR demonstrated capillary nonperfusion in all eyes: 47 eyes (49.5%) showed LAPPEL, 32 eyes (33.7%) showed vascular dragging, 30 eyes (31.6%) had venous-venous shunts, and 33 eyes (34.7%) had arteriovenous shunts. Decreasing macular VD on OCTA correlated with increasing peripheral capillary nonperfusion on WFA. Decreasing fractal dimension on OCTA correlated with increasing LAPPEL severity on WFA. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with FEVR demonstrated abnormalities in the macular microvasculature and capillary network, in addition to the peripheral retina. The macular microvascular parameters on OCTA may serve as biomarkers of changes in the retinal periphery on WFA.

See also: Retina, July 2019, All, 2019
Last updated on 07/31/2019