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Front Med (Lausanne) ; 9: 927121, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933713


Purpose: A hypercoagulable state has been reported to cause potential sight-threatening ischemia in patients suffering from Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study aimed to determine whether vessel density (VD), as measured by optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A), has insights into retinal and choriocapillaris vascular changes in patients affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods: Hundred and fifty two patients positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection were enrolled in this observational, retrospective, controlled study. A control group of 60 healthy subjects was selected for statistical comparisons. Raw OCT and OCT-A data were exported and 3D datasets were analyzed to determine VD. Results: Hundred and forty eyes (92.1%) were included for final analysis. The VD of the superficial capillary plexus (SCP) did not differ between the two groups. The mean VD of the deep capillary plexus (DCP) and the choriocapillaris (CC) was significantly lower in the foveal sector of the COVID-19 group compared to healthy controls. Within the post-COVID-19 group, the lowest DCP and CC foveal VD values were recorded in patients treated with antiviral therapy; no differences were observed among COVID-19 patients with other comorbidities (hypertension, diabetes, thyroid disease) or taking antiplatelet therapy. DCP and CC foveal VD were significantly lower in patients hospitalized in an intensive care unit (ICU) than asymptomatic patients. Conclusion: Foveal vessel density at the level of DCP and CC was reduced in post-COVID-19 patients. Further studies evaluating these changes over time will be needed to corroborate the hypothesis of a microvascular retinal impairment in individuals who have recently recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Am J Ophthalmol ; 227: 182-190, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157088


PURPOSE: This study investigated changes in retinal vessel density in macular and papillary regions in post-SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia patients by means of optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). DESIGN: Prospective, observational, cohort study. METHODS: Forty eyes of 40 patients (mean age: 49.7 ± 12.6 years old) post-SARS-CoV-2 infection and 40 healthy subjects were enrolled in this study. COVID-19 patients had to be fully recovered from COVID-19 pneumonia and were evaluated 6 months after COVID-19 infection. The primary outcome resulted from OCTA studies of the following vascular structures: vessel density (VD) in the retinal superficial capillary plexus (SCP), deep capillary plexus (DCP), and radial peripapillary capillaries (RPC) compared to those of controls. Structural spectral domain (SD)-OCT parameters were also evaluated: ganglion cell complex (GCC) and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL). RESULTS: The patients showed a significant reduction in VD of the SCP in whole images and in the DCP in all sectors compared to those in healthy subjects (P <.05). COVID-19 patients featured a reduced VD of the RPC compared to that in controls (P <.001). No differences were found in the GCC, whereas the RNFL was reduced in the COVID-19 group compared to that in controls (P = .012). Significant correlations were found between the RNFL and VD of the SCP, DCP, RPC, and FAZ area in the COVID-19 group (P <.05). CONCLUSIONS: OCTA showed retinal vascular changes in subjects fully recovered from COVID-19 pneumonia. These findings could be a consequence of a thrombotic microangiopathy that affected retinal structures as well as other systemic organs. OCTA could represent a valid, noninvasive biomarker of early vascular dysfunction after SARS-CoV-2 infection.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Fluorescein Angiography/methods , Macula Lutea/pathology , Retinal Diseases/diagnosis , Retinal Vessels/diagnostic imaging , Tomography, Optical Coherence/methods , Capillaries/diagnostic imaging , Comorbidity , Female , Fundus Oculi , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pilot Projects , Prospective Studies , Retinal Diseases/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2