Relating retinal blood flow and vessel morphology in sickle cell retinopathy

Jennifer Cano, Shayan Farzad, Maziyar M. Khansari, Ou Tan, David Huang, Jennifer I. Lim, Mahnaz Shahidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: The purpose of the current study was to determine associations between retinal blood flow and vessel morphology metrics in sickle cell retinopathy (SCR) and healthy normal control (NC) subjects. METHODS: Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) and Doppler OCT imaging were performed in 12 SCR (15 eyes) and 19 NC (26 eyes) subjects. Vessel tortuosity was measured using a dedicated image analysis algorithm applied to OCTA images. Vessel density and spacing between vessels were determined from OCTA images by a fractal dimension analysis method. Retinal blood flow was quantified using a phase-resolved technique applied to en face Doppler OCT images. RESULTS: There was a significant association between increased retinal blood flow and increased vessel tortuosity (P = 0.03). Furthermore, increased retinal blood flow was associated with increased vessel density (P = 0.03) and decreased spacing between small vessels (P = 0.01). There was no significant association between retinal blood flow and spacing between large vessels (P = 0.11). Vessel tortuosity and blood flow were increased, whereas spacing between small vessels was decreased in SCR compared to NC group (P ≤ 0.03). There were no significant differences in vessel density or spacing between large vessels between the SCR and NC groups (P ≥ 0.31). CONCLUSIONS: Associations between retinal hemodynamics and vessel morphology were reported, providing better understanding of retinal pathophysiology and insight into potential quantitative biomarkers to evaluate SCR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)886-891
Number of pages6
JournalTransactions of the Ophthalmological Societies of the United Kingdom
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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