To describe the retinal peripheral vascular morphology and to elucidate its relationship to microvascular abnormalities in normal fundus using ultra-widefield fluorescein angiography.
A total of 242 eyes from 167 consecutive patients were categorized into 3 groups: bilateral normal (n = 64), normal with contralateral eye affected with vascular disease (n = 82), and early diabetic eyes (n = 96). Peripheral vascular morphology was described and classified according to the shape. Microvascular abnormalities such as capillary telangiectasia, microaneurysm, or vascular leakage were documented, and the relationship between those abnormalities in each groups were analyzed.
There were two distinctive peripheral vascular morphologies—loop and branching patterns. Microvascular abnormalities were more frequently found as loop patterns; this difference was most prominent when both eyes were normal. In case of normal eyes with contralateral eye affected with vascular disease or diabetic eyes, branching pattern microvascular abnormalities were relatively increased, whereas loop pattern still showed a large degree of microvascular abnormalities.
In normal retinal periphery, we observed microvascular abnormalities and their relationship with vascular morphology, which could be influenced by the condition of the contralateral eye or systemic disease such as diabetes mellitus.
Using ultra-widefield fluorescein angiography, we observed that the normal peripheral retina shows microvascular abnormalities that are related to peripheral vascular morphology and the status of the contralateral eye or systemic disease. Our study sheds light on a valuable research direction for future studies on peripheral vasculature.
Department of Ophthalmology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Reprint requests: June-Gone Kim, MD, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88, Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul 05505, Republic of Korea; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
None of the authors has any financial/conflicting interests to disclose.
Presented at the 116th Annual Meeting of The Korean Ophthalmological Society, Goyang-si, Korea, November 4–6, 2016.