Optic Nerve Head Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography Findings after Coronavirus Disease


Purpose: To quantify the microvasculature density of the optic nerve head (ONH) using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) analysis in patients recovered from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Methods: In a comparative cross-sectional, observational study, patients recovered from COVID- 19 whose initial diagnosis was confirmed by an rRT-PCR of a nasopharyngeal sample were included in this study. OCTA of ONH was performed in included patients and normal controls. Vascular density (VD) of the all vessels (AV) and small vessels (SV) inside the disc and radial peripapillary capillary (RPC) network density was measured in COVID-19 recovered patients and compared with similar parameters in an age-matched group of normal controls.

Results: Twenty-five COVID-19 patients and twenty-two age-matched normal controls were enrolled in the study and one eye per participant was evaluated. The mean whole image SV VD in the COVID-19 group (49.31 ± 1.93) was not statistically significantly different from that in the control group (49.94 ±. 2.22; P = 0.308). A decrease in RPC VD was found in all AV and SV VD measured, which became statistically significant in whole peripapillary SV VD, peripapillary inferior nasal SV VD, peripapillary inferior temporal SV VD, peripapillary superior nasal SV VD, and grid-based AV VD inferior sector (P < 0.05). Inside disc SV VD in the COVID-19 group (49.43 ± 4.96) was higher than in the control group (45.46 ± 6.22) which was statistically significant (P = 0.021).

Conclusion: Unremarkable decrease was found in ONH microvasculature in patients who had recovered from COVID-19. These patients may be at risk of ONH vascular complications. Increase in inner disc SV VD may be an indicator of ONH hyperemia and edema.


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Optic Nerve Head, Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCTA), Radial Peripapillary Capillary Network, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

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