Geographic Atrophy Progression Is Associated with Choriocapillaris Flow Deficits Measured with Optical Coherence Tomographic Angiography

Qi Sheng You, Acner Camino, Jie Wang, Yukun Guo, Christina J. Flaxel, Thomas S. Hwang, David Huang, Yali Jia, Steven T. Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to assess the associations between baseline choriocapillaris (CC) flow deficits and geographic atrophy (GA) progression. METHODS. In this prospective cohort study, patients with GA underwent 3 × 3-mm macular spectral-domain optical coherence tomographic angiography (OCTA) at baseline and follow-up visits. Annual GA enlargement rate was defined as change of square root of GA area in 12 months. Shadow areas due to iris, media opacity, retinal vessels, and drusen were excluded. CC vessel density (CC-VD) in non-GA areas was measured using a validated machine-learning-based algorithm. Low perfusion area (LPA) was defined as capillary density below the 0.1 percentile threshold of the same location of 40 normal healthy control eye. Focal perfusion loss (FPL) was defined as percentage of CC loss within LPA compared with normal controls. RESULTS. Ten patients with GA were enrolled and followed for 26 months on average. At baseline, the mean GA area was 0.84 ± 0.70 mm2. The mean CC-VD was 44.5 ± 15.2%, the mean LPA was 4.29 ± 2.6 mm2, and the mean FPL was 50.4 ± 28.2%. The annual GA enlargement rate was significantly associated with baseline CC-VD (r = −0.816, P = 0.004), LPA (r = 0.809, P = 0.005), and FPL (r = 0.800, P = 0.005), but not with age (r = 0.008, P = 0.98) and GA area (r = −0.362, P = 0.30). CONCLUSIONS. Baseline CC flow deficits were significantly associated with a faster GA enlargement over the course of 1 year, suggesting the choriocapillaris perfusion outside of a GA area may play a role in GA progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number28
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number15
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Geographic atrophy
  • Optical coherence tomography angiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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