Investigation of OCTA Biomarkers in Fabry Disease : a Long Term Follow-Up of Macular Vessel Area Density and Foveal Avascular Zone Metrics


Retinal microvasculature is known to be altered in patients with Fabry disease (FD). We aimed to investigate the long-term changes in macular microvasculature and explore a reliable retinal biomarker for treatment monitoring in FD.


Prospective study of 26 eyes with FD followed up to 48 months (mean 24, range 8-48). OCT angiography (OCTA) images (2.9 × 2.9 mm) were obtained using Heidelberg Spectralis II at baseline and follow-up. Macular vessel area density (VAD, %) was measured in three layers: superficial vascular plexus (SVP), intermediate capillary plexus (ICP) and deep capillary plexus (DCP) in three peri-macular circular sectors (c1, c2, c3). Additionally, foveal avascular zone (FAZ) area (mm2) and horizontal and vertical diameters (µm) were assessed.


VAD decreased over time in SVP, ICP (in sectors c2 and c3) and DCP (all sectors) (p < 0.04). VAD reduction was predominantly seen in treated FD patients. FAZ and horizontal diameters increased at follow-up in FD patients compared to baseline (p ≤ 0.025). Correlation analysis showed a moderate to strong negative correlation between VAD of SVP and DCP in the innermost circle and FAZ in treated patients (r = - 0.6; p < 0.0001).


This is the first long-term follow-up OCTA study in FD to our knowledge. A decrease in VAD, pronounced in the peripheral circle and deeper layers, as well as an enlargement of the FAZ could be observed over time. These changes reflect the vascular remodelling during the course of the disease. Interestingly, the reduction of VAD was more pronounced in treated patients. This could be a result of enzyme replacement therapy and could be potentially used as a reliable biomarker for monitoring the treatment of the disease. A baseline examination of VAD and FAZ before treatment initiation is meaningful. Larger studies are needed to establish the use of VAD and FAZ as biomarkers for treatment monitoring.


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