BACKGROUND: To identify different choroidal patterns in Stargardt disease (STGD) and to assess their clinical correlates.
METHODS: 100 STGD eyes (29 males; mean age 42.6 ± 16.5 years) and 100 control eyes (29 males; mean age 43.2 ± 8.5 years) were included. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) and OCT angiography (OCTA) images were obtained. Four different choroidal patterns, quantitative OCT and OCTA parameters were assessed and statistically analyzed. The main outcome was the correlation between each choroidal pattern and anatomical and functional retinal status. Furthermore, we assessed structural and best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) changes of each STGD subgroup after one-year.
RESULTS: Mean BCVA was 0.63 ± 0.44 LogMAR for STGD patients and 0.0 ± 0.0 LogMAR for controls (p < 0.01). All quantitative parameters appeared deteriorated in STGD compared to controls (p < 0.01). Choroidal patterns were distributed as follows: Pattern 1 (normal appearing choroid) (15%), Pattern 2 (reduced Sattler or Haller layer) (29%), Pattern 3 (reduced Sattler and Haller layers) (26%), Pattern 4 (Pattern 3 + choroidal caverns) (30%). More advanced patterns significantly correlated with a more severe loss of retinal structural integrity. Furthermore, only Pattern 3 and Pattern 4 showed remarkable signs of progression after one year.
CONCLUSIONS: Choroidal patterns were related with retinal structural status and BCVA loss, and with different disease progression.