Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2023 Nov 1;64(14):32. doi: 10.1167/iovs.64.14.32.
PURPOSE: To investigate the impact of diabetic retinopathy (DR) on morphological choriocapillaris (CC) modifications in eyes with type 1 macular neovascularization (MNV) secondary to AMD using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA).
METHODS: Eyes with AMD-related type 1 MNV with and without DR were prospectively included. We performed 3 × 3 mm OCTA scans at two visits: before the loading phase of intravitreal injections of aflibercept (T1) and 1 month after the last injection (T2). OCTA En face flow images of the CC were analyzed for flow deficit percentage (FD%), FD average area and FD number in a 500-µm-wide ring surrounding the dark halo (DH) around type 1 MNV.
RESULTS: A total of 65 eyes, out of which 30 eyes had mild DR, were included. In the group without diabetes, there was a gradual reduction in FD% in the CC ring around the DH after antiangiogenic therapy, indicating reperfusion of the CC (P = 0.003). However, in the DR group, there were no significant changes in CC parameters between the two study visits. Specifically, the FD% in the CC ring around the DH did not show a significant reduction at T2 compared with T1 values (P > 0.05). Furthermore, the comparison of the variation in FD% between the two groups was statistically significant. The nondiabetic group exhibited a gradual CC reperfusion after the loading phase of aflibercept, whereas the diabetic eyes did not show significant changes (P = 0.029).
CONCLUSIONS: The CC surrounding the DH associated to type 1 MNV exhibited greater hypoperfusion in diabetic eyes compared with eyes without diabetes, both before starting therapy and after the loading phase. Hence, DR may be a potential risk factor in the development and progression of late-stage AMD and may also influence the response to antiangiogenic therapy.