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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Feb 7;54(2):1080-5. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-10503.

The relationship between foveal ischemia and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography findings in ischemic diabetic macular edema.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



To investigate the relationship between enlargement of the foveal avascular zone (FAZ) and structural changes on spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) in patients with ischemic diabetic macular edema (DME).


This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study including 35 eyes of 33 patients with ischemic DME as determined by irregular margins of the FAZ in fluorescein angiography. We measured the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), central subfield thickness (CST), subfield volume, subfoveal choroidal thickness, length of the photoreceptor outer segment (PR-OS), and the lateral extent of inner segment-outer segment (IS-OS) disruption on SD-OCT images, as well as the FAZ to optic nerve head (FAZ/ONH) area ratio by using the ImageJ program.


The mean FAZ/ONH area ratio was 0.28 ± 0.15. The FAZ/ONH area ratio was positively correlated with the logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (LogMAR) BCVA (P = 0.001, r = 0.529). The mean CST was 391 ± 110 μm, and the subfield volume was 0.31 ± 0.09 mm(3). The mean length of the PR-OS and the horizontal and vertical extent of IS-OS disruption were 40 ± 8 μm, 169 ± 294 μm, and 114 ± 170 μm, respectively. The mean length of the PR-OS and the horizontal and vertical extent of IS-OS disruption were significantly correlated with FAZ/ONH area ratio (P = 0.020, P = 0.001, and P = 0.049, respectively). The horizontal and vertical extent of IS-OS disruption showed a positive correlation with LogMAR BCVA (P = 0.027 and P = 0.049, respectively).


Foveal ischemia in DME appears to cause PR-OS shortening and IS-OS disruption resulting in outer retinal layer atrophic changes and subsequent visual loss.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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