UMMS Affiliation

School of Medicine

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Document Type



Eye Diseases | Ophthalmology


PURPOSE: To quantitatively evaluate the retinal microvasculature in human subjects with retinal venous occlusions (RVO) using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). DESIGN: Retrospective, cross-sectional, observational case series. PARTICIPANTS: Sixty subjects (84 eyes) were included (20 BRVO, 14 CRVO, 24 unaffected fellow eyes, and 26 controls). METHODS: OCTA was performed on a prototype, spectral domain-OCTA system in the 3x3mm central macular region. Custom software was used to quantify morphology and density of retinal capillaries using four quantitative parameters. The vasculature of the segmented retinal layers and nonsegmented whole retina were analyzed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Fractal dimension (FD), vessel density (VD), skeletal density (SD), and vessel diameter index (VDI) within the segmented retinal layers and nonsegmented whole retina vasculature. RESULTS: Nonsegmented analysis of RVO eyes demonstrated significantly lower FD (1.64+/-0.01 vs 1.715+/-0.002; p<0.001), VD (0.32+/-0.01 vs 0.432+/-0.002; p<0.001), and SD (0.073+/-0.004 vs 0.099+/-0.001; p<0.001) compared to controls. Compared to the fellow eye, FD, VD and SD were lower (p<0.001), and VDI was higher (p<0.001). FD, VD, and SD progressively decreased as the extent (or type) of RVO increased (control vs BRVO vs CRVO; p<0.001). In the unaffected fellow eye FD, VD and SD showed significant differences when compared to control eyes or affected RVO eyes (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Quantitative OCTA of the central 3x3mm macular region demonstrates significant differences in capillary density and morphology among subjects with BRVO and CRVO compared to controls or unaffected fellow eyes in all vascular layers. The unaffected fellow eyes also demonstrate significant differences when compared to controls. OCTA allows for noninvasive, layer-specific, quantitative evaluation of RVO-associated microvascular changes.

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Copyright © 2017 Koulisis et al.

DOI of Published Version



PLoS One. 2017 Apr 24;12(4):e0176404. eCollection 2017. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

PloS one


First author Nicole Koulisis is a medical student at UMass Medical School.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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