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Vessel density on optical coherence tomography angiography is prognostic for future disease course in intermediate uveitis.

Scientific reports

Authors: Maximilian W M Wintergerst, Nicholas R Merten, Moritz Berger, Jan H Terheyden, Lennart J Overbeck, Matthias Schmid, Frank G Holz, Robert P Finger

As most rare diseases, intermediate uveitis lacks reliable endpoints necessary for randomized clinical trials. Therefore, we investigated longitudinal changes of retinal and choriocapillaris perfusion on optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) in intermediate uveitis and their prognostic value for future best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and central retinal thickness (CRT). In this retrospective, longitudinal cohort study eyes of patients with intermediate uveitis were imaged by swept-source OCT-A (macula-centered 3 × 3 mm; PLEX Elite 9000, Zeiss) and stratified into clinically stable, worsened and improved based on changes in clinical parameters. Superficial (SRL) and deep retinal layers (DRL) were automatically analyzed for vessel density (VD) and choriocapillaris layer for non-perfused area (CCNPA) using ImageJ. Mixed-effects regression analysis controlling for age, sex, and OCT-A signal strength index (SSI) was used to evaluate the prognostic value of OCT-A parameters. 91 eyes (62 stable, 12 worsened, and 17 improved) were included in the analysis and mean follow-up time was 296 days. Longitudinal changes of VD were different between all three groups (p = 0.002 for SRL and p = 0.017 for DRL). Clinically worsened eyes showed a decrease in VD (- 0.032 ± 0.055 for SRL and - 0.027 ± 0.025 for DRL), whereas clinically improved eyes showed an increase in VD (0.037 ± 0.039 for SRL and 0.001 ± 0.023 for DRL). No difference was found for CCNPA. When controlling for age, sex, and SSI, observed differences held true in clinically worsened eyes for DRL (p = 0.011) and in clinically improved eyes for SRL (p = 0.002). An increase of CCNPA in clinically worsened eyes (p = 0.03) compared to clinically stable and improved eyes was evident. Predictive analysis revealed an association of VD in SRL and DRL at baseline with BCVA at follow-up (p = 0.039 and p = 0.047, respectively) and of VD in SRL at baseline with CRT at follow-up (p = 0.046). Alterations in retinal perfusion on OCT-A in intermediate uveitis are partly reversible and OCT-A VD may serve to predict future BCVA and CRT. Thus, perfusion parameters on OCT-A might aid monitoring and serve as prognostic imaging-biomarker.

© 2024. The Author(s).

PMID: 38317017

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