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Optic nerve head microvascular differences in ambliopic eyes- an observational case-control study

Mujdat Karabulut, Sinem Karabulut, Sabahattin Sul, Aylin Karalezli.


We aimed to assign optic nerve head microvascular variations in amblyopic eyes and compare them with healthy eyes. We designed this study as an observational case-control study. Seventeen strabismic, 20 anisometropic, 18 meridional, and 18 ametropic amblyopic eyes were enrolled as a study group. Seventy-two healthy eyes were selected as a control group. After full ophthalmic examination, optic nerve head-centered, 4.5 × 4.5 mm scan size images were taken from all groups. Retinal nerve fiber layer thickness, vessel density, and ganglion cell complex parameters were analyzed. For gender, age, and adjusted intraocular pressure, the groups were similar (x2(2, N=145)= 5.4, p=0.34; p=0.49; p=0.61; respectively). In amblyopic eyes, the mean peripapillary, superior, inferior, nasal, and temporal vessel density was significantly higher (p=0.023; p=0.041; p=0.015; p=0.039; p=0.019; respectively), while the mean inside disk vessel density was lower compared to the control (p=0.038). Additionally, the mean total vessel density was similar in both groups (p=0.29). For retinal nerve fiber layer thickness and ganglion cell complex, no significant different data were obtained between the two groups and among amblyopic subgroups (p>0.05 for all). Optic nerve head vascularization may be altered in amblyopic eyes. Optical coherence tomography angiography can help us to understand the optic nerve head blood supply differentiations in amblyopic eyes. Prospective studies are required to assign the further outcomes of crowded optic nerve head in amblyopic eyes.

Key words: Optical coherence tomography angiography, optic nerve head, amblyopia, peripapillary vessel density.

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