APSified OCT-angiography analysis: Macula vessel density in healthy eyes during office hours

Müller M, Schottenhamml J, Hosari S, Hohberger B, Mardin CY (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023


Book Volume: 18

Article Number: e0282827

Journal Issue: 3 March

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0282827


Purpose Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) can visualize retinal capillary microcirculation non-invasively. In order to investigate potential factors influencing OCT-A diagnostics, the aim of the present study was to determine circadian changes in macular vessel density (VD) in healthy adults during office hours, considering axial length (AL) and subfoveal choroidal thickness (CT). Methods In the prospective study 30 eyes of 30 healthy subjects (mean age 28.7 ± 11.8, range 19–60 years) were recruited who underwent repeated measurements of AL, subfoveal CT and three-layer macula VD (superficial vascular plexus (SVP), intermediate capillary plexus (ICP) and deep capillary plexus (DCP)) on a single day at three predetermined timepoints (9 AM, 3 PM, and 9 PM). For better intra- and interindividual scan comparability, the new Anatomic Positioning System function (APS, part of Glaucoma Module Premium Edition [GMPE], Heidelberg Engineering, Germany) allowing analysis of identical retinal areas, was used for quantitative OCT-A analysis. Results Overall mean macula VD was unchanged during office hours in SVP, ICP and DCP, respectively (p>0.05). In addition, AL and CT showed no statistically significant changes over time (p>0.05). Rather, a large interindividual variance of VD with different peak time was observed. Contrary to the overall data, sectorial VD changed in dependency of office hours in all layers with an increase of VD in SVP between 9 AM and 9 PM (p = 0.003), in ICP between 3 PM and 9 PM (p = 0.000), in DCP between 9 AM and 9 PM (p = 0.048), and 3 PM and 9 PM (p = 0.000), respectively. Conclusion Overall mean macula VD, subfoveal CT and AL tended not to show statistically significant changes over time in this cohort, whereas a regional analysis of VD did. Therefore, a circadian influence on capillary microcirculation should be kept in mind. Moreover, the results highlight the importance of a more detailed analysis of VD in different sectors and different vascular layers. In addition, the pattern of diurnal variation could vary inter-individually, thus a patient-specific fluctuation pattern would need to be considered when evaluating these parameters in clinical practice.

Authors with CRIS profile

How to cite


Müller, M., Schottenhamml, J., Hosari, S., Hohberger, B., & Mardin, C.Y. (2023). APSified OCT-angiography analysis: Macula vessel density in healthy eyes during office hours. PLoS ONE, 18(3 March). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0282827


Müller, Meike, et al. "APSified OCT-angiography analysis: Macula vessel density in healthy eyes during office hours." PLoS ONE 18.3 March (2023).

BibTeX: Download