Acta Ophthalmol. 2023 Sep 16. doi: 10.1111/aos.15765. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: To investigate the changes in retinal arterial architecture after treatment with voretigene neparvovec in patients with retinal dystrophy caused by bi-allelic mutations in the RPE65 gene.
METHODS: Sixteen eyes treated with voretigene neparvovec at the University Eye Clinic in Tuebingen, Germany, underwent adaptive optics ophthalmoscopy (AO) imaging at baseline and 2 weeks, 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after treatment. Follow-up was performed in six eyes of four patients. For each eye, five different positions at arterial vessels were selected and the wall-to-lumen ratio (WLR), the lumen diameter (LD) and the wall cross-sectional area (WCSA) were measured by the manufacturer’s software over the observational period.
RESULTS: Vast retinal atrophy dominated all gained AO images. WLR fluctuated in the observation period without statistically significant change. LD and WCSA changed significantly after 2 weeks from the baseline examination and returned to values similar to baseline thereafter. There were no signs of inflammation such as macrophages or perivascular accumulated fluid visible.
CONCLUSION: AO imaging of the retinal vessels in RPE65-associated retinal dystrophies (IRD) is challenging. There was no change in the retinal arterial vasculature over the observation period of 12 months that would indicate inflammatory changes. Decrease of the LD and WCSA shortly after treatment might be caused by the perioperative prednisolone intake. AO of retinal vessels can be used as a diagnostic module to complement monitoring the disease and effects of genetic treatments if the acquisition is possible in selected cases.