Higher vascular density of the superficial retinal capillary plexus in degenerative lamellar macular holes

Luisa Pierro, Lorenzo Iuliano, Marco Gagliardi, Alessandro Arrigo, Francesco Bandello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) comparison between vessel density in patients with degenerative-subtype lamellar macular hole (LMH) and healthy individuals. Unaffected fellow eyes were also included in the study. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This observational, cross-sectional study examined 32 eyes affected by unilateral degenerative-subtype LMH, as well as the 32 fellow eyes of the enrolled population. Thirty healthy eyes were used as controls. ImageJ software was used to calculate macular vessel density in the three vascular plexuses (superficial capillary plexus [SCP], deep capillary plexus [DCP], choriocapillaris [CC]) in two regions: (1) a fovea-centered 1.5-mm diameter circular area after subtracting the foveal avascular zone (FAZ) area, obtaining a “ring” in the immediate FAZ proximity (peri-FAZ); (2) the area external to (1) included in the scan. RESULTS: In the peri-FAZ, the SCP of both LMH and fellow eyes showed higher vascular density than in controls (P = .004 for LMH; P = .015 for fellow eye), whereas no difference was evident between LMH and fellow eyes (P = .190). No changes were found in the DCP or the CC. No differences in vessel density of the three plexuses in the area outside the peri-FAZ were evident in any of the three groups. The FAZ in the SCP was larger in the LMH (0.39 ± 0.16 mm2) and in the fellow eye (0.39 ± 0.21 mm2) groups compared with controls (0.27 ± 0.07 mm2; P = .021 for LMH; P = .0043 for fellow eye), whereas it was similar between LMH and fellow eyes (P = .967). CONCLUSIONS: Degenerative-subtype LMH in the immediate proximity of the FAZ has a larger FAZ and higher vascular density in the SCP compared with healthy eyes. Unaffected fellow eyes also have increased vascular density compared with controls. Microvascular changes are evident in both LMH and unaffected fellow eyes and might play a role in disease pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e112-e117
JournalOphthalmic Surgery Lasers and Imaging Retina
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Ophthalmology


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