Choroidal vascularity index in hereditary optic neuropathies

Eye (Lond). 2023 Feb 7. doi: 10.1038/s41433-023-02383-5. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: To assess the choroidal vascularity index (CVI) in patients affected by Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) compared to patients affected by dominant optic atrophy (DOA) and healthy subjects.

METHODS: In this retrospective study, we considered three cohorts: LHON eyes (48), DOA eyes (48) and healthy subjects’ eyes (48). All patients underwent a complete ophthalmologic examination, including best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) acquisition. OCT parameters as subfoveal choroidal thickness (Sub-F ChT), mean choroidal thickness (ChT), total choroidal area (TCA), luminal choroidal area (LCA) were calculated. CVI was obtained as the ratio of LCA and TCA.

RESULTS: Subfoveal ChT in LHON patients did not show statistically significant differences compared to controls, while in DOA a reduction in choroidal thickness was observed (p = 0.344 and p = 0.045, respectively). Mean ChT was reduced in both LHON and DOA subjects, although this difference reached statistical significance only in DOA (p = 0.365 and p = 0.044, respectively). TCA showed no significant differences among the 3 cohorts (p = 0.832). No changes were detected in LCA among the cohorts (p = 0.389), as well as in the stromal choroidal area (SCA, p = 0.279). The CVI showed no differences among groups (p = 0.898): LHON group was characterized by a similar CVI in comparison to controls (p = 0.911) and DOA group (p = 0.818); the DOA group was characterized by a similar CVI in comparison to controls (p = 1.0).

CONCLUSION: CVI is preserved in DOA and LHON patients, suggesting that even in the chronic phase of the neuropathy the choroidal structure is not irreversibly compromised.

PMID:36747110 | DOI:10.1038/s41433-023-02383-5