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Retinal capillary perfusion heterogeneity in diabetic retinopathy detected by optical coherence tomography angiography

Yuan, Po Hsiang Shawn; Athwal, Arman; Shalaby, Mena; Mehnert, Andrew; Yu, Dao-Yi; Preti, Rony C; Sarunic, Marinko; (2024) Retinal capillary perfusion heterogeneity in diabetic retinopathy detected by optical coherence tomography angiography. International Journal of Retina and Vitreous , 10 , Article 12. 10.1186/s40942-024-00528-6. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a leading cause of blindness and involves retinal capillary damage, microaneurysms, and altered blood flow regulation. Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) is a non-invasive way of visualizing retinal vasculature but has not been used extensively to study blood flow heterogeneity. The purpose of this study is to detect and quantify blood flow heterogeneity utilizing en-face swept source OCTA in patients with DR. // Methods: This is a prospective clinical study which examined patients with either type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus. Each included eye was graded clinically as no DR, mild DR, or moderate-severe DR. Ten consecutive en face 6 × 6 mm foveal SS-OCTA images were obtained from each eye using a PLEX Elite 9000 (Zeiss Meditec, Dublin, CA). Built-in fixation-tracking, follow-up functions were utilized to reduce motion artifacts and ensure same location imaging in sequential frames. Images of the superficial and deep vascular complexes (SVC and DVC) were arranged in temporal stacks of 10 and registered to a reference frame for segmentation using a deep neural network. The vessel segmentation was then masked onto each stack to calculate the pixel intensity coefficient of variance (PICoV) and map the spatiotemporal perfusion heterogeneity of each stack. // Results: Twenty-nine eyes were included: 7 controls, 7 diabetics with no DR, 8 mild DR, and 7 moderate-severe DR. The PICoV correlated significantly and positively with DR severity. In patients with DR, the perfusion heterogeneity was higher in the temporal half of the macula, particularly in areas of capillary dropout. PICoV also correlates as expected with the established OCTA metrics of perfusion density and vessel density. // Conclusion: PICoV is a novel way to analyze OCTA imaging and quantify perfusion heterogeneity. Retinal capillary perfusion heterogeneity in both the SVC and DVC increased with DR severity. This may be related to the loss of retinal capillary perfusion autoregulation in diabetic retinopathy.

Type: Article
Title: Retinal capillary perfusion heterogeneity in diabetic retinopathy detected by optical coherence tomography angiography
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s40942-024-00528-6
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40942-024-00528-6
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: Diabetic retinopathy, Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA), Perfusion heterogeneity, Retinal imaging, Retinal perfusion, Segmentation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10189128
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