Jose Cunha-Vaz

Characterization of the initial stages of diabetic retinal disease using OCT and OCTA.


José Cunha-Vaz, MD, PhD1,2

1 AIBILI – Association for Innovation and Biomedical Research on Light and Image, Coimbra, Portugal

2 University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal



In this prospective cross-sectional study, optical coherence tomography (SDOCT) and optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) were used to examine eyes of patients with type-2 diabetes, twice with a one-year interval. Layer by layer measurements of retinal thinning or thickening, vessel density (VD) maps and DR severity (DRSS grading) were determined.


Results: A total of 40 eyes from patients aged 53-88 years were imaged. In group 10-20, likely capillary closure was seen in 18% of eyes, compared to 35% in group 35, and 44% in group 43-47. Likely edema was seen in 27% of eyes in group 10-20, 40% in group 35, and 33% in group 43-47. Possible RNFL thinning was present in 64% of eyes in Group 10-20, compared to 35% in Group 35, and 33% in Group 43-47. The occurrence of RNFL thinning, edema and capillary closure did not correlate with each other.


Conclusion: Retinal degeneration, edema and microvascular alterations occur in different degree in diabetic eyes even when classified in the same retinopathy grade. Only microvascular changes showed correlation with progression in disease severity.