To investigate microvascular changes in the retina and choroid of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) patients in comparison with healthy control subjects.
This observational clinical cohort study included 36 CTEPH patients (72 eyes) and 65 healthy control subjects (130 eyes). Optical coherence tomography (OCT) and optical coherence tomography angiography images were obtained from each participant using the AngioVue Imaging System (Optovue, Inc, Freemont, CA).
A number of differences were found in the CTEPH cohort, including reductions in mean vessel density at the deep vascular complex of the macula and a reduction in mean subfoveal choroidal thickness. Furthermore, the CTEPH group displayed an increase in foveal avascular zone. The presence of at least one systemic disease, including arterial hypertension, diabetes, chronic coronary syndrome, and/or hyperlipidemia, in CTEPH patients increased the range of vascular complications. The presence of comorbidity was concomitant with a decrease in mean vessel density in the superficial vascular complex of the macula, excluding the fovea, and a decrease in mean vessel density in the radial peripapillary capillary plexus.
Measurements of the foveal avascular zone and vessel density of the DVC and subfoveal choroidal thickness may be useful and sensitive predictors of retinal and choroidal circulation impairment in CTEPH patients without systemic disease.