Journal of Ophthalmology (2021-01-01)

The Diagnostic Capability of Swept Source OCT Angiography in Treatment-Naive Exudative Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration

  • Daniel Ahmed,
  • Martin Stattin,
  • Anna-Maria Haas,
  • Stefan Kickinger,
  • Maximilian Gabriel,
  • Alexandra Graf,
  • Katharina Krepler,
  • Siamak Ansari-Shahrezaei

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 2021


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Purpose. To evaluate the capability of swept source-optical coherence tomography angiography (SS-OCTA) in the detection and localization of treatment-naive macular neovascularization (MNV) secondary to exudative neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD). Methods. In this prospective, observational case series, 158 eyes of 142 patients were diagnosed with exudative nAMD using fluorescein (FA) and indocyanine green angiography (ICGA) and evaluated by SS-OCTA in a tertiary retina center (Rudolf Foundation Hospital Vienna, Austria). The main outcome measure was the sensitivity of SS-OCTA compared to the standard multimodal imaging approach. Secondary outcome measure was the anatomic analysis of MNV in relation to the retinal pigment epithelium. Results. En-face SS-OCTA confirmed a MNV in 126 eyes (sensitivity: 79.8%), leaving 32 eyes (20.2%) undetected. In 23 of these 32 eyes (71.9%), abnormal flow in cross-sectional SS-OCTA B-scans was identified, giving an overall SS-OCTA sensitivity of 94.3%. Eyes with a pigment epithelium detachment (PED) ≥ 300 μm had a smaller probability for correct MNV detection (p=0.015). Type 1 MNV showed a trend (p=0.051) towards smaller probability for the correct detection compared to all other subtypes. Other relevant factors for the nondetection of MNV in SS-OCTA were image artifacts present in 3 of 32 eyes (9.4%). SS-OCTA confirmed the anatomic localization of 93 in 126 MNVs as compared to FA (sensitivity: 73.8%). There was no influence of age, gender, pseudophakia, visual acuity, central foveal thickness, or subfoveal choroidal thickness on the detection rate of MNV. Conclusions. SS-OCTA remains inferior to dye-based angiography in the detection rate of exudative nAMD consistent with type 1 MNV and a PED ≥300 µm. The capability to combine imaging modalities and distinguish the respective MNV subtype improves its diagnostic value.