Diurnal stability of peripapillary vessel density and nerve fiber layer thickness on optical coherence tomography angiography in healthy, ocular hypertension and glaucoma eyes

Sara Bochicchio, Paolo Milani, Lara Enrica Urbini, Ennio Bulone, Luciana Carmassi, Elena Fratantonio, Giacomo Castegna, Lorenza Scotti, Antonella Zambon, Fulvio Bergamini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: By using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA), to evaluate diurnal changes of the following parameters: vessel density in the peripapillary area (PP-VD) and in the optic nerve head (ONH-VD); thickness of retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) and ganglion cell complex (GCC). Methods: All prospectively enrolled participants were imaged on the same day at 8 am and 7 pm by means of the XR Avanti device with AngioVue and AngioAnalytics software (Optovue Inc., Fremont, CA, USA). Only eyes with correct automatic segmentation and good-quality images (scan quality > 7/10) were included. Results: Forty-six eyes from 28 patients with glaucoma, 53 from 31 patients with ocular hypertension, and 62 from 38 controls were assessed. The mean measurements of all parameters investigated were significantly different in the morning and in the evening values in all three groups, with lower values in glaucomatous eyes (p<0.014). In control eyes, as well as in eyes of patients with ocular hypertension and glaucoma the daily changes were minimal and not statistically significant with means of +0.17%, -0.31% and -0.54% for ONH-VD (p=0.83) and means of +0.2%, +0.1% and +0.29% for PP-VD (p=0.83), respectively. Likewise, daily fluctuations in GCC and RNFL thickness were not significant in any of the three groups, with means of +0.16 µm, +0.66 µm and -0.15 µm for GCC (p=0.58) and means of +0.24 µm, +0.58 µm and -0.24 µm for ONH-RNFL (p=0.90), respectively. Systemic hypertension, age, axial length, daily changes in intraocular pressure or scan quality did not correlate with daily fluctuations of any of the parameters investigated (p>0.1). Conclusion: Vessel density, GCC and RNFL were stable during daytime thus corroborating the clinical relevance of OCTA regardless the time of acquisition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1823-1832
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Ophthalmology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Daily fluctuations
  • Glaucoma
  • Optical coherence tomography angiography
  • Retinal fiber layer
  • Vessel density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

Cite this