Optical coherence tomography angiography enhances the detection of optic nerve damage in multiple sclerosis

Rebecca I. Spain, Liang Liu, Xinbo Zhang, Yali Jia, Ou Tan, Dennis Bourdette, David Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Background Quantitative assessment of optic nerve damage is important in the evaluation of optic neuritis (ON) and multiple sclerosis (MS). Objective To detect optic nerve damage using optical coherence tomography (OCT) and OCT angiography in MS. Methods Peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer (NFL) thickness, macular ganglion cell complex (GCC) thickness and Optic Nerve Head Flow Index (ONH-FI) were measured. The ONH-FI was defined as flow signal averaged over the optic disc. Diagnostic accuracy was evaluated by the area under the receiver-operating characteristics curve (AROC). Results Sixty-eight eyes of 45 MS participants and 55 eyes of 32 healthy controls (HCs) were analysed. Of MS eyes, 25 had a history of ON (MS+ON) and 43 didn't (MSâ 'ON). MSâ 'ON and MS+ON eyes had reductions in ONH-FI (p=0.031 and p=0.001, respectively), GCC thickness (p=0.245 and p<0.001, respectively), and NFL thickness (p=0.003 and p=0.024, respectively), compared with HCs. The highest AROC (0.940) was achieved by the logistic regression combination of all three variables, which was significantly higher than other variables (p=0.018). Conclusion MS produces both retinal structural loss and decreased ONH perfusion in MS eyes with and without history of ON. The combination of perfusion and structural measurements enhances detection of optic nerve damage in MS. OCT angiography may be a useful additional retinal marker in evaluation of ON in MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-524
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • OCT angiography
  • multiple sclerosis
  • optic neuritis
  • optical coherence tomography
  • retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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