Aim To analyse the choriocapillaris (CC) flow status in the area that subsequently showed geographic atrophy (GA) expansion secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) during 1-year follow-up, matching optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) and fundus autofluorescence (FAF).
Methods In this prospective longitudinal observational study, 30 eyes of 20 consecutive patients with GA secondary to AMD (mean age 75.5±7.4 years) were included. All patients underwent OCT-A and FAF at baseline and 1-year follow-up. Main outcome measures included analysis of perfusion density (PD) in the ‘area surrounding GA margin’ (between the GA border and 500 µm distance) in comparison with the ‘control area’ (area outside the 500 µm line), and of the ‘expansion area’ (area that subsequently developed GA expansion during 1-year follow-up).
Results During the 1-year follow-up, visual acuity significantly decreased from 0.34±0.38 Logarithm of the Minimum Angle of Resolution (LogMAR) to 0.39±0.40 LogMAR (p<0.001), and mean GA area increased from 6.82±5.47 mm2 to 8.76±6.28 mm2 (p<0.001). CC PD of the area surrounding the GA margin revealed a significant flow impairment compared with control area (PD 0.679±0.076 and 0.734±0.057, respectively (p<0.001)). Furthermore, the PD of the expansion area showed a greater CC flow impairment in comparison to the remaining area surrounding GA margin (p<0.001).
Conclusions We reported a greater CC impairment in the area that subsequently developed GA expansion, suggesting that the CC flow impairment could predict the enlargement of GA lesion. The CC impairment could be considered as a new a risk factor for GA progression and a biomarker to be measured to determine efficacy of new interventions aiming to slow progression of GA.
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Contributors RS, EC and GQ: research design, data acquisition and analysis, interpretation of data, drafting the manuscript and critical revision of the manuscript. EB, LC, AC and FG: data acquisition and analysis, critical revision of the manuscript. FB and LQ: interpretation of data and critical revision of the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests FB is a consultant for: Alcon (Fort Worth, Texas, USA), Alimera Sciences (Alpharetta, Georgia, USA), Allergan (Irvine, California, USA), Farmila-Thea (Clermont-Ferrand, France), Bayer Shering-Pharma (Berlin, Germany), Bausch And Lomb (Rochester, New York, USA), Genentech (San Francisco, California, USA), Hoffmann-La-Roche (Basel, Switzerland), Novagali Pharma (Évry, France), Novartis (Basel, Switzerland), Sanofi-Aventis (Paris, France), Thrombogenics (Heverlee, Belgium), Zeiss (Dublin, USA). GQ is a consultant for: Alimera Sciences (Alpharetta, Georgia, USA), Allergan (Irvine, California, USA), Amgen (Thousand Oaks, USA), Bayer Shering-Pharma (Berlin, Germany), Heidelberg (Germany), KBH (Chengdu; China), LEH Pharma (London, UK), Lumithera (Poulsbo; USA), Novartis (Basel, Switzerland), Sandoz (Berlin, Germany), Sifi (Catania, Italy), Sooft-Fidea (Abano, Italy), ZEISS (Dublin, USA).
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval This study was approved by the Local Ethics Committee. The study adhered to the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request. Data will be available upon request to GQ.