Perivenular capillary loss: An early, quantifiable change in macular telangiectasia type 2

Paul S. Micevych, Brian T. Soetikno, Amania Fawzi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To evaluate differences in parafoveal vascular density surrounding arterioles and venules in type 2 macular telangiectasia (MacTel). Methods: Thirty-seven eyes (20 subjects) diagnosed with MacTel and 16 healthy eyes (10 subjects) were imaged with optical coherence tomography angiography between March 2016 and June 2019 in this single-center, observational, cross-sectional study. Arterioles and venules were manually identified, and perivascular density was generated using a custom MATLAB code. The primary outcome measure was the ratio of periarteriolar to perivenular vascular density (arteriovenous [A/V] capillary ratio) in the superficial and deep capillary plexuses across MacTel stages. The main secondary outcome measures were overall parafoveal vascular density (VD), periarteriolar VD, and perivenular VD. Results: In the superficial capillary plexus (SCP), the A/V capillary ratio was significantly higher in MacTel subjects than controls (0.914 vs. 0.892; P = 0.0044). The greatest differences occurred between controls and nonproliferative MacTel subjects without optical coherence tomography evidence of disease (P = 0.0055). A/V capillary ratios progressed in a nonlinear fashion with MacTel severity, increasing from nonproliferative disease (0.912) to intraretinal proliferative disease (0.931), then decreasing in subretinal proliferative disease (0.905). Parafoveal VD in the SCP was lower in MacTel subjects than controls only in subretinal proliferative disease (P = 0.0130). Conclusions: The A/V capillary ratio of the SCP is a quantifiable metric of vascular pathology in MacTel that occurs earlier than decline in parafoveal VD. Elevated A/V capillary ratios in MacTel are consistent with an early, disproportionately perivenular disruption in the SCP. Translational Relevance: Findings inform MacTel pathogenesis through revealing early perivenular capillary loss and offer a new quantitative metric for earliest stage MacTel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Capillary loss
  • MacTel
  • Macular telangiectasia type 2
  • Optical coherence tomography angiography
  • Vascular density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Ophthalmology


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