Purpose: To compare retinal vessel density in eyes with geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to age-matched healthy eyes by using projection-resolved optical coherence tomography angiography (PR-OCTA). Design: Prospective cross-sectional study. Methods: Study participants underwent macular 3- × 3-mm OCTA scans with spectral domain OCTA. Reflectance-compensated retinal vessel densities were calculated on projection-resolved superficial vascular complex (SVC), intermediate capillary plexus (ICP), and deep capillary plexus (DCP). Quantitative analysis using normalized deviation compared the retinal vessel density in GA regions, 500-μm GA rim regions, and non-GA regions to similar macular locations in control eyes. Results: Ten eyes with GA and 10 control eyes were studied. Eyes with GA had significantly lower vessel density in the SVC (54.8 ± 2.4% vs. 60.8 ± 3.1%; P < 0.001), ICP (34.0 ± 1.5% vs. 37.3 ± 1.7%; P = 0.003) and DCP (24.4 ± 2.3% vs. 28.0 ± 2.3%; P < 0.001) than control eyes. Retinal vessel density within the GA region decreased significantly in SVC, ICP, and DCP. Retinal vessel density in the GA rim region decreased in SVC and ICP but not in DCP. The non-GA region did not significantly deviate from normal controls. Eyes with GA had significantly reduced photoreceptor layer thickness; but similar nerve fiber layer, ganglion cell complex, inner nuclear layer, and outer plexiform layer thickness. Conclusions: Eyes with GA have reduced retinal vessel density in SVC, ICP, and DCP compared to those in controls. Loss is greatest within regions of GA. Vessel density may be more sensitive than retinal layer thickness measurement in the detection of inner retinal change in eyes with GA.
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