Purpose: To assess the association between optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA)–quantified avascular areas (AAs) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) severity, progression, and treatment requirement in the following year. Design: Prospective cohort study. Methods: We recruited patients with diabetes from a tertiary academic retina practice and obtained 3-mm × 3-mm macular OCTA scans with the AngioVue system and standard 7-field color photographs at baseline and at a 1-year follow-up visit. A masked grader determined the severity of DR from the color photographs using the Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy scale. A custom algorithm detected extrafoveal AA (EAA) excluding the central 1-mm circle in projection-resolved superficial vascular complex (SVC), intermediate capillary plexus (ICP), and deep capillary plexus (DCP). Results: Of 138 patients, 92 (41 men, ranging in age from 26-84 years [mean 59.4 years]) completed 1 year of follow-up. At baseline, EAAs for SVC, ICP, and DCP were all significantly correlated with retinopathy severity (P < .0001). DCP EAA was significantly associated with worse visual acuity (r = −0.24, P = .02), but SVC and ICP EAA were not. At 1 year, 11 eyes progressed in severity by at least 1 step. Multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated the progression was significantly associated with baseline SVC EAA (odds ratio = 8.73, P = .04). During the follow-up period, 33 eyes underwent treatment. Multivariate analysis showed that treatment requirement was significantly associated with baseline DCP EAA (odds ratio = 3.39, P = .002). No baseline metric was associated with vision loss at 1 year. Conclusions: EAAs detected by OCTA in diabetic eyes are significantly associated with baseline DR severity, disease progression, and treatment requirement over 1 year.
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