PURPOSE. To characterize the density and distribution of the radial peripapillary capillary plexus (RPCP) and its relationship with retinal nerve fiber layer (NFL) thickness in healthy subjects. METHODS. Using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT), split-spectrum amplitude decorrelation angiography algorithm and automated montaging, wide-field OCT angiography (OCTA) was used to measure the RPCP capillary density (CD) and NFL thickness. Polar sector-average CD and thickness maps were also created on each eye. RESULTS. Wide-field OCTA (8 × 8 mm) in 10 healthy eyes from 10 subjects demonstrated the distribution of the RPCP throughout the posterior pole. RPCP-CD decreases with distance from the disc, but along the arcuate nerve fiber bundles relatively dense (> half maximum density) RPCP extends more than 5 mm from the disc and includes regions superior to and inferior to the macula. The RPCP-CD and NFL thickness are highly correlated (R2 = 0.85, P < 0.001) and fit well with a nonlinear stacked-layer model. The model fit suggests that the RPCP is present when the NFL is thicker than 17.9 μm and reaches a ceiling area density of 84% and that the RPCP has an apparent volume density of 19% at the current instrument transverse resolution. This indicates that capillary overlap can be expected to occur when NFL thickness reaches 40 μm. CONCLUSIONS. The wide distribution of dense overlapping RPCP suggests that wider (up to 8 mm vertical and 7 mm horizontal) OCTA scans may be better investigate capillary loss in the early stages of glaucoma or other optic neuropathies.
- Nerve fiber layer thickness
- Optical coherence tomography angiography
- Radial peripapillary capillary plexus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience