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Presumed Müller Cell Activation in Multiple Evanescent White Dot Syndrome

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2023 Oct 3;64(13):20. doi: 10.1167/iovs.64.13.20.


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the foveal changes occurring in multiple evanescent white dot syndrome (MEWDS) using multimodal imaging techniques with a specific focus on hyper-reflective dots (HRDs).

METHODS: This was a retro-prospective observational study including 35 eyes with active MEWDS. Structural and en face optical coherence tomography (OCT) was performed, with follow-up visits at 2 weeks, 6 weeks, and 2 months from baseline. HRD percentage area (HRD % area) was calculated in a 600 µm fovea centered circle on en face OCT, after background subtraction and image binarization. HRD % area was compared with 23 fellow control eyes. Longitudinal changes in the HRD % areas were assessed using repeated-measure statistics.

RESULTS: HRDs were observed as scattered hyper-reflective spots on the vitreoretinal interface on en face OCT images, colocalizing with HRDs or vertical hyper-reflective lines on structural OCT images. The baseline evaluation showed a significantly higher HRD % area in MEWDS eyes compared to fellow eyes (0.10 ± 0.03 vs. 0.08 ± 0.04, P = 0.01). The HRD % area correlated positively with LogMAR visual acuity and inversely with the duration of symptoms. Longitudinal analysis revealed a significant reduction in the HRD % area over time. There was no significant interaction between the rate of HRD disappearance and clinical or demographic factors at baseline.

CONCLUSIONS: As HRD potentially represents the end-feet projections of activated Müller cells on the retinal surface, this study supports the involvement of Müller cells in the pathogenesis of the disease. The findings highlight the potential of en face OCT imaging for monitoring the progression of MEWDS.

PMID:37824135 | DOI:10.1167/iovs.64.13.20

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