Reduced Macular Vessel Density and Capillary Perfusion in Glaucoma Detected Using OCT Angiography

Jiahui Wu, Rani T. Sebastian, Colin J. Chu, Freia McGregor, Andrew D. Dick, Lei Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
119 Downloads (Pure)


AIMS: To evaluate retinal vasculature changes in primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) and whether the functional visual loss correlates with parameters obtained using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: OCT and OCTA images were collected from 116 POAG eyes and 40 normal eyes in a prospective, cross-sectional observational study. Glaucomatous eyes were further divided into three groups according to a Glaucoma Staging System. Measurements of macular vessel density, ganglion cell complex (GCC), and disc retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness were compared among groups.

RESULTS: The macular vessel density, GCC, and RNFL are significantly reduced in POAG compared to normal eyes that also corresponds to the severity of glaucoma (Kruskal-Wallis test with Dunnett's correction; p < 0.0001). Visual field mean deviation correlates significantly with macular vessel density (p = 0.0028, r = 0.3), GCC (p < 0.0001, r = 0.6), and RNFL (p = 0.008, r = 0.36) in POAG. There are significant correlations between GCC and RNFL (p < 0.0001, r = 0.76) as well as macular vessel density (p < 0.0001, r = 0.48). Increased age also correlates with reduced macular vessel density in both normal (p = 0.0002, r = 0.49) and glaucomatous eyes (p < 0.0001, r = 0.48), but a greater proportionate reduction of vessel density is seen in glaucomatous eyes.

CONCLUSION: Reduced macular vessel density occurs in POAG despite of age-related changes, which also correlates with reductions in RNFL and GCC measurements. OCTA can detect microstructural defects and offers potential to facilitate diagnosis of glaucoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-540
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number5
Early online date2 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2019


  • Glaucoma
  • intraocular pressure
  • macula
  • field of vision
  • optic nerve
  • OCTA


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