BACKGROUND: Optical coherence tomography angiography allows a detailed evaluation of retinal and choroidal microvascular structures without the need for a contrast agent. Pseudoexfoliation syndrome is a condition that leads to anatomical and functional losses due to accumulation of degraded abnormal fibrillar material in the intraocular and extraocular tissues. Histopathological studies have shown that the accumulation of Pseudoexfoliation syndrome material in the vascular structures may play a role in different ocular pathologies such as retinal vein occlusion, iris hypoperfusion, anterior segment hypoxia, retinal arterial occlusion, and neovascular glaucoma. AIMS: To evaluate and compare flow and vascular density in the retina and choroid in eyes with Pseudoexfoliation syndrome, fellow eyes without Pseudoexfoliation syndrome, and healthy eyes using optical coherence tomography angiography. STUDY DESIGN: Case control study. METHODS: The study included 35 eyes with Pseudoexfoliation syndrome of 35 Pseudoexfoliation syndrome patients, 32 fellow eyes without Pseudoexfoliation syndrome of 32 unilateral Pseudoexfoliation syndrome patients, and 35 eyes of healthy control subjects. Flow area and vascular density in the superficial capillary plexus and deep capillary plexus were measured by optical coherence tomography angiography as three separate parameters: total, parafoveal, and foveal. Choroidal thickness and foveal avascular zone area were measured for each patient. RESULTS: There were significant differences between the Pseudoexfoliation syndrome eyes and control eyes in total, parafoveal, and foveal flow and vascular density in the superficial capillary plexus (p<0.05 for all), while there were no significant differences between these groups in any of the flow or vascular density values in the deep capillary plexus (p>0.05). None of the superficial capillary plexus and deep capillary plexus flow and vascular density values showed significant differences between Pseudoexfoliation syndrome eyes and non-Pseudoexfoliation syndrome fellow eyes or between the non-Pseudoexfoliation syndrome fellow eyes and control eyes (p>0.05). Choroidal thickness was significantly lower in Pseudoexfoliation syndrome eyes compared to control eyes. Foveal avascular zone area was significantly enlarged in Pseudoexfoliation syndrome eyes compared to control eyes in both the superficial and deep layers (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: Pseudoexfoliation syndrome eyes exhibit significant damage to the retinal and choroidal vascular structures.
Clinic of Ophthalmology, Ekol Hospital, İzmir, Turkey