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Widefield optical coherence tomography angiography for early detection and objective evaluation of proliferative diabetic retinopathy


Purpose To evaluate the utility of widefield optical coherence tomography angiography (WF-OCTA) compared with clinical examination in grading diabetic retinopathy in patients diagnosed clinically with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) or severe non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR).

Design This retrospective observational case series included patients diagnosed clinically with PDR or severe NPDR. Patients underwent standard clinical examination and WF-OCTA imaging (PLEX Elite 9000, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG) using 12×12 montage scans between August 2018 and January 2019. Two trained graders identified neovascularisation at the disc (NVD) and neovascularisation elsewhere (NVE) on WF-OCTA which were compared with the clinical examination, and to ultra-widefield fluorescein angiography (UWFA) when available.

Results Seventy-nine eyes of 46 patients were evaluated. Of those, 57 eyes were diagnosed clinically with PDR, and 22 with severe NPDR. NVD was detected on OCTA-B scan as preretinal hyperreflective material (PRHM) in 39 eyes (100%) with evident flow signals in 79.5% compared with 51.3% detected clinically. We further classified NVD on OCTA into four subtypes and found that subtypes 1 and 2 could not be seen on clinical examination alone. WF-OCTA detected NVE in 81% of the cases compared with 55.7% detected clinically. Using WF-OCTA resulted in a higher percentage of PDR grading (88.6%) than on clinical examination (72.2%). When available, UWFA confirmed the WF-OCTA diagnosis in the majority of cases.

Conclusion This study demonstrates that WF-OCTA has a higher detection rate of PDR than clinical examination. This suggests that this modality could be used non-invasively for the purpose of early detection and characterisation of neovascularisation.

  • imaging
  • retina
  • macula
  • neovascularisation

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