APSified OCT-angiography analysis: Macula vessel density in healthy eyes during office hours

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Müller, Meike
Schottenhamml, Julia
Hosari, Sami
Hohberger, Bettina
Mardin, Christian Y.


Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) can visualize retinal capillary microcirculation non-invasively. In order to investigate potential factors influencing OCT-A diagnostics, the aim of the present study was to determine circadian changes in macular vessel density (VD) in healthy adults during office hours, considering axial length (AL) and subfoveal choroidal thickness (CT). Methods

In the prospective study 30 eyes of 30 healthy subjects (mean age 28.7 ± 11.8, range 19–60 years) were recruited who underwent repeated measurements of AL, subfoveal CT and three-layer macula VD (superficial vascular plexus (SVP), intermediate capillary plexus (ICP) and deep capillary plexus (DCP)) on a single day at three predetermined timepoints (9 AM, 3 PM, and 9 PM). For better intra- and interindividual scan comparability, the new Anatomic Positioning System function (APS, part of Glaucoma Module Premium Edition [GMPE], Heidelberg Engineering, Germany) allowing analysis of identical retinal areas, was used for quantitative OCT-A analysis. Results

Overall mean macula VD was unchanged during office hours in SVP, ICP and DCP, respectively (p>0.05). In addition, AL and CT showed no statistically significant changes over time (p>0.05). Rather, a large interindividual variance of VD with different peak time was observed. Contrary to the overall data, sectorial VD changed in dependency of office hours in all layers with an increase of VD in SVP between 9 AM and 9 PM (p = 0.003), in ICP between 3 PM and 9 PM (p = 0.000), in DCP between 9 AM and 9 PM (p = 0.048), and 3 PM and 9 PM (p = 0.000), respectively. Conclusion

Overall mean macula VD, subfoveal CT and AL tended not to show statistically significant changes over time in this cohort, whereas a regional analysis of VD did. Therefore, a circadian influence on capillary microcirculation should be kept in mind. Moreover, the results highlight the importance of a more detailed analysis of VD in different sectors and different vascular layers. In addition, the pattern of diurnal variation could vary inter-individually, thus a patient-specific fluctuation pattern would need to be considered when evaluating these parameters in clinical practice.

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