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Evaluation of the retina, choroid and optic disc vascular structures in individuals with a history of COVID-19

J Fr Ophtalmol. 2023 Nov 2:S0181-5512(23)00523-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jfo.2023.10.003. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: In this study, we aimed to detect changes in posterior segment structures and vascular density caused by COVID-19 using an optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) device.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study included 20 eyes of 20 patients no systemic or ocular disease who were followed at the Ophthalmology Clinic of Health Sciences University Antalya Training and Research Hospital. The OCTA images of these individuals taken prior to contracting COVID-19 and six months after recovery were examined.

RESULTS: The mean choriocapillaris blood flow was 2.00±0.13mm2 before COVID-19 and 2.08±0.23mm2 after the disease, and the mean subfoveal choroidal thickness was 247.33±7.65μm before the disease and 273.08±4.92μm after the disease, indicating a statistically significant difference (P=0.003, P=0.001, respectively). The mean retinal nerve fiber layer thickness before and after COVID-19 were 119.33±3.88 and 117.50±3.92μm, respectively, representing a statistically significant decrease (P<0.001).

CONCLUSION: This is the first study in the literature to evaluate the post-COVID-19 changes in the vascular structures of the eye compared to the pre-disease values. In this study, we found statistically significant changes in choriocapillaris blood flow, subfoveal chroidal thickness and retinal nerve fiber layer thickness after COVID-19 infection. Further research with a greater sample size is needed to explore the effect of COVID-19 on these parameters.

PMID:37925322 | DOI:10.1016/j.jfo.2023.10.003

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