PURPOSE: To evaluate, by means of optical coherence tomography (OCT) and OCT angiography (OCTA), early retinal, choroidal and macular perfusion changes induced by a local inflammatory reaction secondary to uncomplicated cataract surgery.
METHODS: Selected eyes undergoing cataract surgery were enrolled in a prospective study. OCT and OCTA were performed before cataract surgery (T0) and at day: 1 (T1), 7 (T7), 30 (T30) and 90 (T90). Inner (IR) and outer retinal (OR) volumes, choroidal volume, hyper-reflective retinal spots (HRS) in IR and OR changes were measured at OCT. Macular perfusion was analysed in superficial (SCP), intermediate (ICP) and deep retinal capillary plexuses (DCP).
RESULTS: Nine eyes of nine selected patients were consecutively enrolled. Mean IR volume changed after surgery (p=0.0001), increasing progressively from 4.391±0.231 mm³ at T0 to 4.573±0.241 mm³ at T30, p=0.0002. Both mean OR and choroidal volume increased, mainly at T30, but not significantly (p=0.4360 and p=0.2300, respectively). Mean HRS changed during follow-up, increasing at first in IR and later in OR (at T1 and T7, respectively, both p<0.0001). Macular ICP and DCP perfusion increased at T1, whereas macular SCP perfusion did not change. At T90, all OCT and OCTA parameters had almost reached baseline levels.
CONCLUSIONS: The increase of HRS at first in IR and later in OR seems to confirm their inflammatory nature. Early OCTA changes (underline) underscore a selective susceptibility of DCP and ICP to a localised inflammatory reaction induced by cataract surgery.