While research continues to examine why some ethnicities may be more prone to developing glaucoma than others, a new study that used OCT-angiography (OCT-A) found open-angle glaucoma patients of African and European descents showed no significant differences in their peripapillary and macular microcirculation blood flow. 

Researchers from the University of Washington enrolled 28 eyes of Black patients and 56 eyes of Caucasian individuals. Investigators scanned one eye of each subject with OCT-A covering both a 6×6mm scanning area centered at the optic nerve head (ONH) and at the foveola. The study measured peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and macular microcirculation by calculating the overall flux and vessel area density, excluding the large retinal vessels.

Between the two groups, there was no significant difference in age, sex, hypertension, anti-hypertensive medications, diabetes, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, mean ocular perfusion pressure, RNFL thickness and visual field mean deviation and visual field pattern standard deviation.

 The researchers noted both groups had similar OCT-A blood flow metrics. Additionally, OCT-A blood flow metrics were significantly correlated with visual field mean deviation, visual field pattern standard deviation and RNFL thickness.

Peripapillary and macular microcirculation were significantly correlated with disease severity in the eyes of both groups, the investigators found.

Logan T, Bojikian KD, Hoon J, et al. Peripapillary and macular microcirculation in glaucoma patients of African and European descent using optical coherence tomography angiography. J of Glaucoma. August 5, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].