The decorrelation signals in optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) are derived from the flow of erythrocytes and concomitantly delineate the retinal vasculature. We compared the structural and functional characteristics of vascular lesions visualized in fluorescein angiography (FA), OCTA, and en-face OCT images in 53 eyes (28 patients) with diabetic retinopathy (DR).
The foveal avascular zone (FAZ) areas in OCTA images in the superficial layer almost corresponded to those in FA images. The FAZ areas in the en-face OCT images in the superficial layer were smaller than those in the FA images and correlated with each other, which agreed with the finding that en-face OCT images often delineated the vascular structure in the nonperfused areas in FA images. Microaneurysms appeared as fusiform, saccular, or coiled capillaries in OCTA images and ringed, round, or oval hyperreflective lesions in en-face OCT images.
OCTA and en-face OCT images detected 41.0 ± 16.1% and 40.1 ± 18.6%, respectively, of microaneurysms in FA images, although both depicted only 13.9 ± 16.4%. The number of microaneurysms in FA images was correlated with that in OCTA and en-face OCT images. Comparisons of these modalities showed the associations and dissociations between blood flow and vascular structures, which improves the understanding of the pathogenesis of DR.