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Early retinal and choroidal OCT and OCT angiography signs of inflammation after uncomplicated cataract surgery


Purpose To evaluate, by means of optical coherence tomography (OCT) and OCT angiography (OCTA), early retinal, choroidal and macular perfusion changes induced by a local inflammatory reaction secondary to uncomplicated cataract surgery.

Methods Selected eyes undergoing cataract surgery were enrolled in a prospective study. OCT and OCTA were performed before cataract surgery (T0) and at day: 1 (T1), 7 (T7), 30 (T30) and 90 (T90). Inner (IR) and outer retinal (OR) volumes, choroidal volume, hyper-reflective retinal spots (HRS) in IR and OR changes were measured at OCT. Macular perfusion was analysed in superficial (SCP), intermediate (ICP) and deep retinal capillary plexuses (DCP).

Results Nine eyes of nine selected patients were consecutively enrolled. Mean IR volume changed after surgery (p=0.0001), increasing progressively from 4.391±0.231 mm³ at T0 to 4.573±0.241 mm³ at T30, p=0.0002. Both mean OR and choroidal volume increased, mainly at T30, but not significantly (p=0.4360 and p=0.2300, respectively). Mean HRS changed during follow-up, increasing at first in IR and later in OR (at T1 and T7, respectively, both p<0.0001). Macular ICP and DCP perfusion increased at T1, whereas macular SCP perfusion did not change. At T90, all OCT and OCTA parameters had almost reached baseline levels.

Conclusions The increase of HRS at first in IR and later in OR seems to confirm their inflammatory nature. Early OCTA changes (underline) underscore a selective susceptibility of DCP and ICP to a localised inflammatory reaction induced by cataract surgery.

  • hyper-reflective retinal spots
  • cataract surgery
  • glial cells activation
  • optical coherence tomography
  • optical coherence tomography angiography

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