Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography of DME and Its Association with Anti-VEGF Treatment Response
Purpose To investigate the structural integrity of the superficial capillary plexuses (SCPs) and deep capillary plexuses (DCPs) using optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiography (OCTA) in patients with diabetic macular edema (DME) and its association with the response to anti–vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) treatment. Design Retrospective, case-control study. Participants We included 51 DME eyes with a poor response to anti-VEGF agents and 32 age-matched DME eyes with a good response to anti-VEGF treatment, along with 20 fellow eyes without DME from the cases and controls. Methods The medical records, including OCTA and spectral-domain OCT (SD OCT), were reviewed and compared between the groups. En face OCTA images of the SCP and DCP were obtained for each eye. An anti-VEGF responder was defined by a reduction of more than 50 μm in central retinal thickness after 3 consecutive anti-VEGF treatments. A poor responder was defined by a reduction of less than 50 μm or an increase in central retinal thickness after 3 monthly injections. Main Outcome Measures We measured the vascular density and foveal avascular zone (FAZ) area and counted the number of microaneurysms in each layer. The SD OCT images were compared with OCTA findings. Results Compared with non-DME eyes, DME eyes had a lower vascular density ( P P P P P Conclusions Compared with DME eyes that responded to anti-VEGF treatment, poor responders show significant damage to the integrity of the DCP, but not the SCP. The degree of OPL disruption in SD OCT corresponds well with the extent of DCP loss in DME eyes. The extent of DCP loss and the corresponding OPL disruption could be useful predictors of responsiveness to anti-VEGF treatment.