Optic Nerve Head Vessel Density Changes from Graves' Disease without TED to TED Dysthyroid Optic Neuropathy; Does Optic Nerve Head Ischemia Play a Role?
Published on Sep 28, 2021in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery1.746
· DOI :10.1097/IOP.0000000000002046
PURPOSE To compare the retinal peripapillary capillary (RPC) vessel density (VD) between 5 groups of patients on the spectrum of thyroid eye disease (TED). METHOD This is a prospective comparative study looking at 5 groups of patients who were consecutively included from January 2018 to March 2021. They were composed of: Healthy volunteers (39 eyes and 20 subjects), patients with Graves' disease without TED (26 eyes and 13 patients), mild TED (28 eyes and 14 patients), moderate-severe TED (30 eyes and 17 patients), and TED with dysthyroid optic neuropathy (DON) (21 eyes and 12 patients). Ocular and periocular examination, visual field indices, RPC-VD (with optical coherence tomography angiography), and retinal nerve fiber layer, and macular ganglion cell complex thickness were recorded. RESULT An initial insignificant (0.5 < p < 0.9) rise in the peripapillary-VD (pp-VD) and whole image-VD (wi-VD) from the healthy subject to the Graves' disease without TED was followed by a significant (p = 0.001) fall in RPC-VD in different severity grades of the TED. Paired comparison between the 5 groups showed that the statistically significant fall from the Graves' disease group occurred in the moderate-severe and DON groups (0.001 ≤ p ≤ 0.04). No variable significantly affected the VD (0.08 ≤ p ≤ 0.9). A lower wi-VD and pp-VD were significantly (0.001 ≤ p ≤ 0.009) correlated with the impaired optic nerve functional and structural tests. The sensitivity and specificity of wi-VD (81% and 76%) and pp-VD (69% and 71%) for detecting the DON were statistically significant (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION Despite an insignificant rise in the wi- and pp-VD from the healthy volunteers to the patients with Graves' disease without TED, VD showed a declining trend in the course of patients with TED, which was statistically significant in the moderate-severe TED and DON groups.