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Enrico Borrelli, Marco Battista, Maria Lucia Cascavilla, Chiara Viganò, Federico Borghesan, Nicolò Nicolini, Lidia Clemente, Riccardo Sacconi, Costanza Barresi, Alessandro Marchese, Elisabetta Miserocchi, Giulio Modorati, Francesco Bandello, Giuseppe Querques; Impact of Structural Changes on Multifocal Electroretinography in Patients With Use of Hydroxychloroquine. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(12):28. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.62.12.28.
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To investigate the relationship between retinal structure and macular function in eyes screened for hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) toxicity.
Participants referred for hydroxychloroquine retinopathy screening with spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) testing were included in the analysis. Amplitude and implicit time of mfERG N1 and P1 responses were included in the analysis. Ring ratios were computed for amplitude values as the ratio of rings 1–3:5 (R1–3:R5). A control group of healthy participants was included for comparison of SD-OCT metrics.
Sixty-three eyes screened for HCQ retinopathy and 30 control eyes were analyzed. The outer nuclear layer (ONL) was significantly thinner in HCQ patients in the foveal (P = 0.008), parafoveal (P < 0.0001), and perifoveal (P < 0.0001) regions. The HCQ cohort was further divided into two subgroups according to the presence of structural clinically detectable retinopathy (i.e., structural damage as detected by multimodal imaging). HCQ eyes without retinopathy had a thinner ONL thickness in the foveal (P = 0.032), parafoveal (P < 0.0001), and perifoveal (P < 0.0001) regions and a thinner inner nuclear layer (INL) in the parafoveal region (P = 0.045 versus controls). Structural changes in HCQ patients without retinopathy were significantly associated with macular function as R2:R5 ring ratio of mfERG P1 amplitude was associated with INL (P = 0.002) and ONL (P = 0.044) thicknesses, and R3:R5 ring ratio of P1 amplitude was associated with ONL thickness (P = 0.004).
Our results suggest that structural alterations secondary to HCQ toxicity may occur in the absence of clinically detectable retinopathy, and this may reflect in an impaired macular function.
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