To compare disease severity between preperimetric primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) patients with and without deep-layer microvasculature dropout.
Materials and Methods:
Ninety-four eyes of 94 preperimetric POAG patients with β-zone parapapillary atrophy (βPPA) were categorized according to the presence of deep-layer microvasculature dropout defined as a complete loss of microvasculature within the choroid or scleral flange on optical coherence tomography angiography. Parameters representing disease severity, that is, visual field (VF) mean deviation (MD), global and sectoral (6-sector) retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness, and other factors including age, focal lamina cribrosa (LC) defect, width of βPPA with and without Bruch membrane (BM) (βPPA+BM and βPPA−BM), and optic disc hemorrhage were compared between eyes with and without dropout.
Deep-layer microvasculature dropout was observed in 33 preperimetric POAG eyes (35.1%). Eyes with dropout had significantly thinner RNFL in all areas except the inferonasal sector, worse VF MD, and higher prevalence of focal LC defect, and larger βPPA−BM (P<0.05), whereas the 2 groups did not differ in age, disc hemorrhage, or βPPA+BM width (P>0.05). In the multivariable logistic regression, worse VF MD [odds ratio (OR), 1.485; P=0.045], thinner RNFL (OR, 1.141; P<0.001), and higher prevalence of focal LC defect (OR, 6.673; P<0.001) were significantly associated with dropout.
Deep-layer microvasculature dropout was observed in a considerable number of preperimetric POAG eyes, and worse disease severity was associated with dropout. Future studies elucidating the pathogenic role of deep-layer microvasculature dropout in the development and progression of glaucoma are warranted.