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Narumi Harada, Norihiro Nagai, Yasuaki Mushiga, Yoko Ozawa; Choriocapillaris Flow Imbalance in Fellow Eyes in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(9):13. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.63.9.13.
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The purpose of this study was to identify early changes in choriocapillaris flow in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with no history of macular neovascularization (MNV).
Clinical records of fellow eyes of patients with unilateral neovascular AMD without fundus findings and control eyes of otherwise healthy individuals, except for mild cataract, diagnosed at St. Luke's International Hospital from April 2020 to March 2021, were retrospectively analyzed. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiography images of the choriocapillaris slab were binarized using the Phansalkar local thresholding methods to evaluate the choriocapillaris flow area (CCFA) and its coefficient of variation (CV).
The data of 24 AMD fellow eyes (17 for men, 71.7 ± 1.9 years old) and 21 control eyes (11 for men, 69.1 ± 2.0 years old) were analyzed. The mean CCFA ratio was lower in the AMD fellow eyes (58.6 ± 1.2%) than in the control eyes (62.4 ± 1.3%, P = 0.032), and the mean CV of CCFA ratio was greater in the AMD fellow eyes (0.174 ± 0.007) than in the control eyes (0.154 ± 0.007, P = 0.032). Eyes with CCFA ratio <60% and CV of CCFA ratio ≥0.154 had a 4.371-fold higher risk of being AMD fellow eyes (95% confidence interval = 1.029–18.56, P = 0.046). Differences in CV of CCFA ratio between AMD fellow eyes and control eyes were particularly clear in eyes with thick choroids (mean CV of CCFA in control versus AMD fellow eyes with central choroidal thickness ≥220 µm: 0.144 ± 0.005 vs. 0.173 ± 0.007, P = 0.009**).
Neovascular AMD fellow eyes without MNV had reduced, heterogeneous, and imbalanced choriocapillaris flow, which may constitute early changes in neovascular AMD, although further studies are required.
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