Background: The aim was to study the relationship between quantitative information provided by optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiography (OCTA) and conventional angiography in macular neovascularization (MNV) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Methods: The research was designed as an interventional, prospective study. We included 66 eyes (66 patients) affected by naïve MNV. Multimodal imaging included structural OCT, OCTA, fluorescein angiography (FA), and indocyanine green angiography (ICGA). The follow-up lasted 1 year. Patients were treated by PRN anti-VEGF injections. Based on FA/ICGA examinations, we divided the patients into two categories: low vessel tortuosity (VT) (<8.40) and high VT (>8.40), correlating VT with the MNV area, leakage area, speckled fluorescence (SF) quadrants and MNV area/leakage area ratio.
Results: Mean baseline BCVA was 0.50 ± 0.61 LogMAR, improved to 0.31 ± 0.29 LogMAR after 1 year (p < 0.01), with a mean number of 7 ± 2 anti-VEGF injections. The patients revealed type-1 MNV in 36 eyes (55%), mixed type 1 and 2 MNV in 18 eyes (27%), and type-2 MNV in 12 eyes (18%). MNV eyes in high-VT MNV featured poorer BCVA, CMT, and OCTA parameters, higher SF quadrants, and less exudation, compared with low-VT MNV (p < 0.01). Moreover, 30% of high-VT MNV eyes developed outer retinal atrophy.
The strength of this new quantitative approach is that it offers an estimate of MNV activity, thus providing useful information about the evolution of the neovascular lesion and the damage caused to retinal structures. However, from the point of view of its association with the functional features of the MNV, the methodology fails to provide an assessment of the relationship between the information supplied by OCTA and data obtained from dye-based angiography. In particular, OCTA is well-known to yield little regarding the blood-retinal barrier breakdown and the exudative phenomena, which are, in contrast, well detected by dye-based angiography.