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Lisa Marie Danzmann, Marita Awe, Robert Kromer, Dorothee Brockmann, Amelie Pielen, Anja Weber, Sultan Bektas, Carsten Framme, Refik Pul; Retinal Vessel Morphology in Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis and Optic Neuritis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):1305.
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This is a restrospective analysis of a prospective cohort-study to compare characteristics of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RR-MS) to healthy controls.It is known that patients with RR-MS and optic neuritis (ON) can develop thinning of nerve fiber layer and consecutive optic atrophy. Retinal vessel morphology measured using a novel optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) based method is altered in patients with open angle glaucoma and Parkinson’s disease. We conducted this analysis to evaluate if retinal vessel morphology in patients with RR-MS with and without ON is altered compared to controls.
Prospective study with 81 patients (age from 18 to 75, median 38 years) with RR-MS of whom 32 (39 eyes) had a history of ON and 55 healthy controls. All patients underwent neurological and ophthalmic examination including SD-OCT. Retinal vessels scatter the SD-OCT signal and produce a distal shadow in die SD-OCT image. This shadow correlates with the vessel morphology. With an algorithm developed by Kromer et al (2016) the vessel shadow intensity (VSI) is calculated to analyze the retinal vessel morphology. 91 eyes of 46 MS patients were compared to eyes of age-matched control patients using paired t-test. In subanalysis, VSI of arteries and veins in eyes of patients with RR-MS with ON were compared to the contralateral eye of the same patient without history of ON (n = 19 and 20 pairs) and in a second sub analysis to eyes of age- and sex-matched healthy controls (11 and 13 pairs) using paired t-test and Bonferroni correction.
Analysis showed no significant differences in VSI of arteries and veins in RR-MS patients compared to healthy controls. There is a small difference in the number of vessels, but not statistically significant after Bonferroni correction. Furthermore, subanalysis showed no significant difference of eyes with history of ON compared to the contralateral eye or to the eyes of the healthy control group.
There was no difference in the retinal vessel morphology assessed with VSI in eyes of RR-MS patients compared to fellow eyes and healthy eyes regardless of a history of ON.Maybe further studies with new techniques, e.g. OCT-Angiography, are helpful to assess alterations of the retinal perfusion in neurodegenerative diseases more precisely.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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