To evaluate the fovea in nanophthalmic eyes using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and OCT angiography (OCTA), and to investigate the relationship between the macular microstructure and visual acuity.
This is a retrospective case series of five nanophthalmic patients. The foveal avascular zone (FAZ) area was measured in superficial and deep vascular layers with OCTA. The thickness of the inner retinal layer (IRL) was measured with SD-OCT. The ratio of the foveal and parafoveal IRL thickness (fIRL/pIRL ratio) was calculated. The relationship between these parameters and visual acuity was then investigated.
Eight eyes were identified as nanophthalmic with a mean axial length of 17.19 ± 1.44 mm (range: 15.71 to 19.88 mm). The mean best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) in the logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR) was 0.12 ± 0.18 (range: - 0.18 to 0.40). OCTA showed that FAZs were either absent or undeveloped in the superficial and deep capillary plexuses. Two patients did not show any visual impairments despite small FAZ and a shallow foveal depression. Although the BCVA was significantly correlated with the deep FAZ size, it did not correlate with the superficial FAZ size, axial length, or fIRL/pIRL ratio. However, the refractive error, axial length, and deep FAZ size were all significantly correlated with the fIRL/pIRL ratio.
The FAZs were commonly found to be small in the superficial and deep capillary plexuses. Although the deep FAZ size correlated with visual acuity, it is unclear whether the retinal microstructure and the FAZ size are responsible for the visual impairments observed in the same individuals.