Researchers recently found that patients who developed geographic atrophy (GA) expansion secondary to AMD also had a greater impairment to choriocapillaris (CC) flow in the same area.

This prospective, longitudinal, observational study evaluated OCT angiography and fundus autofluorescence imaging of 30 eyes of 20 patients with GA secondary to AMD at baseline and at one-year follow-up. The team analyzed perfusion density in the area surrounding the GA margin (between the GA border and the 500µm line) and compared it with the control area (outside the 500µm line) and the area that subsequently developed GA expansion.

During the one-year follow-up, the investigators found that visual acuity significantly decreased from 0.34±0.38logMAR to 0.39±0.40logMAR and mean GA area increased from 6.82±5.47mm2 to 8.76±6.28mm2. They noted that the perfusion density of the CC flow in the area surrounding the GA margin revealed a significant impairment compared with the control area (0.679±0.076 and 0.734±0.057, respectively). They added that the perfusion density of the expansion area showed a greater CC flow impairment when compared with the remaining area surrounding the GA margin.

“The CC impairment could be considered as a new a risk factor for GA progression and a biomarker to be measured to determine efficacy of new interventions aiming to slow progression of GA,” the study authors concluded in their paper.

Sacconi R, Corbelli E, Borrelli E, et al. Choriocapillaris flow impairment could predict the enlargement of geographic atrophy lesion. Br J Ophthalmol. March 22, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].