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Ashley Zhou, Onnisa Nanegrungsunk, Susan B Bressler, T. Y. Alvin Liu, Mira Sachdeva, Adrienne Scott, Adam Wenick, Neil M Bressler; Retinal Characteristics in Eyes with Pathologic Myopia Among Individuals Self-Identifying Race as Black . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(8):2320.
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The neovascular form of age-related macular degeneration has been reported to be less frequent among individuals self-identifying as Black, suggesting that darker fundus pigmentation due to increased concentration of melanin within uveal melanocytes may affect retinal abnormalities. Whether this association is found in other retinal conditions, such as pathologic myopia (PM), has not been evaluated to our knowledge. Therefore, we investigated retinal characteristics of PM among patients who self-identified as Black.
Retrospective review of medical records was performed of adult patients who self-identified as Black with ICD codes consistent with PM followed by retina specialists at the Retina Division, Department of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD. For a comparison group, a similar review was done for only one of the retina specialists, among patients with PM who did not self-identify as Black. Data collection included central subfield thickness (CST) on optical coherence tomography (OCT) based on the most recently obtained OCT between January 2005 and December 2019.
Among 7 retina specialists, 428 patients were ICD coded for PM and 60 of those patients (14%) self-identified as Black. In comparison, 2,026 (22%) of all 10,012 patients seen in the Retina Division self-identified as Black in 2014. Of the 368 patients who did not self-identify as Black, 63 patients from a single retina specialist were used as a comparison group. OCT images were available for 35 (58%) of the 60 black patients and 46 (73%) of the 63 patients in the comparison group. Mean (± SD) CST in the right eye was 260 ± 77 μm in the Black patients and 296 ± 98 μm in the comparison group, while median (25th, 75th quartiles) CST in the right eye was 259 μm (218, 280) in black patients and 281 μm (256, 319) in the comparison group.
While the retrospective design and multiple confounding factors that can affect CST—such as retinal detachment, choroidal neovascularization, or retinal atrophy—preclude formal statistical analyses, these preliminary investigations suggest there may be differences in CST among patients with PM who self-identify as Black and those who do not. A prospective cross-sectional study is planned to characterize PM in these patient populations in greater detail.
This is a 2021 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
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