Retinal OCT findings were associated with reading acuity score and maximal reading speed in a study on nAMD patients previously treated for exudation. Click image to enlarge.
Many patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) retain good distance visual acuity; however, some experience near vision impairment affecting their ability to read. Aiming to identify retinal structural biomarkers associated with reading performance in this patient population, researchers recently conducted a prospective study on 90 eyes of 90 patients with nAMD. They were able to associate several OCT biomarkers—specifically those reflecting outer retinal damage—with worse reading performance. The team presented their findings last week during ARVO 2023 in New Orleans.
Included patients had previously treated exudative nAMD and BCVA ≤20/40. The median patient age was 81. The Radner Reading Chart was used to test reading acuity score and maximal reading speed metrics. OCT images were analyzed for findings associated with exudative nAMD within each subfield from the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS).
In the multivariable cross-sectional analysis, the researchers found that the following variables showed an association with reading acuity score: syllables mispronounced or unread, ellipsoid zone disruption in the outer lower ETDRS subfield, external limiting membrane disruption in the central ETDRS subfield, age and BCVA. Variables associated with maximal reading speed included ellipsoid zone disruption in the inner lower ETDRS subfield, retinal pigment epithelium loss in the inner left ETDRS subfield, external limiting membrane disruption in the inner left ETDRS subfield, age and BCVA.
“OCT biomarkers reflecting outer retinal damage are associated with worse reading performance in patients with nAMD and good visual acuity,” the researchers concluded in their abstract. “Our findings may suggest that metrics reflecting the reading performance may be considered as novel relevant functional endpoints in clinical trials.”
Original abstract content © Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology 2023.
Ricardi F, Boscia G, Gelormini F, et al. OCT biomarkers associated with reading performance in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration and good visual acuity. ARVO 2023 annual meeting.