PURPOSE. To investigate the retinal vascular network alterations in highly myopic eyes. METHODS. Thirty-three highly myopic eyes from 21 subjects and 47 mildly myopic or emmetropic eyes from 24 healthy control subjects were enrolled. Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) was used to image the superficial, deep, and whole retinal vascular plexuses at the macular region. Highly myopic eye images were analyzed after adjusting the ocular magnification using Bennett’s formula. Fractal analysis (box counting method, Dbox) representing vessel density was performed in different annular and quadrantile zones of both large vessels and microvessels. Correlations between the vascular density, axial length, and spherical equivalent refractive error were analyzed. RESULTS. The average density (Dbox) of the superficial retinal annular zone (0.6–2.5 mm) microvessels was 1.741 ± 0.018 in highly myopic eyes and was shown to be significantly lower than that of the controls (1.773 ± 0.010, P < 0.001). Individual annular zone (bandwidth of 0.16 mm) analysis of highly myopic eyes revealed a significant level of microvessel alteration in all zones compared with the same zones in control eyes (P < 0.001). Furthermore, in the highly myopic group, the microvessel density was significantly correlated with axial length elongation in all three layers (r = -0.38 to -0.48; P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS. This study reveals retinal microvascular network alterations in highly myopic eyes, which correlates with axial length elongation. Fractal analysis of the microvasculature by OCTA images may help to characterize the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms involved in high myopia.
- Fractal analysis
- High myopia
- Optical coherence tomography angiography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience