Retinal Microvasculature and Visual Acuity after Intravitreal Aflibercept in Diabetic Macular Edema: An Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography Study
We investigated changes in retinal vascular area and the foveal avascular zone (FAZ) after intravitreal aflibercept in diabetic macular edema (DME) and the association of these changes with visual outcomes. The retinal vascular area in the superficial capillary plexus (SCP) and the deep capillary plexus (DCP) and the FAZ area were measured using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) in 23 eyes of 23 patients with DME, before and after intravitreal aflibercept. Overall, there was no significant change in retinal vascular area or FAZ. Better BCVA after treatment was significantly associated with larger retinal vascular area in the SCP and the DCP, both at baseline (R2 = 0.512, P < 0.001 and R2 = 0.361, P = 0.002, respectively) and after intravitreal aflibercept (R2 = 0.717, P < 0.001 and R2 = 0.618, P < 0.001, respectively). MAs were observed in the DCP in 20 eyes (87%), but only detected in four eyes (17%) in the SCP before treatment. The number of eyes with MAs in the DCP significantly decreased to 13 (57%) after treatment (P = 0.049). The persistence of DME was associated with persistent MAs (P = 0.019) and less visual gain (P = 0.031) following treatment. Thus, preserving retinal perfusion and the resolution of MAs are associated with better vision and resolution of the DME after intravitreal aflibercept.