Purpose/Aim of the study: To assess the ability of optical coherence tomographic angiography (OCTA) to visualize the normal iris vasculature as well as neovascularization of the iris (NVI). Materials and Methods: Study participants with healthy eyes, patients at risk of NVI development and patients with active or regressed NVI were consecutively included in this cross-sectional observational study. Imaging was performed using a commercially available OCTA system (RTVue- XR Avanti, Optovue Inc., Fremont, CA, USA). Abnormal iris vessels were graded on OCTA according to a modified clinical staging system and compared to slitlamp and gonioscopic findings. Results: Fifty eyes of 26 study participants (16 healthy eyes, 19 eyes at risk, 15 eyes with different stages of NVI) were imaged using OCTA. In 11 out of 16 healthy eyes (69%) with light or moderately dark iris pigmentation, we observed physiological, radially aligned iris vasculature on OCTA imaging, which could not be visualized in five eyes (31%) with darkly pigmented irides. One eye in the “eyes at risk” group was diagnosed with NVI based on OCTA, which was not observed clinically. Fifteen eyes with clinically active or regressed NVI were imaged. Different stages of NVI could be differentiated by OCTA, corresponding well to an established clinical grading system. Four eyes showed regressed NVI by OCTA, not seen clinically, and were graded as a newly defined stage 4. Conclusions: This pilot clinical study showed that OCTA for imaging of the iris vasculature in health and disease is highly dependent on iris pigmentation. Fine, clinically invisible iris vessels can be visualized by OCTA in the very early stages as well as in the regressed stage of NVI.
- Anterior segment imaging
- optical coherence tomography
- optical coherence tomography angiography
- rubeosis iridis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience