Quantitative changes in the ageing choriocapillaris as measured by swept source optical coherence tomography angiography

Riccardo Sacconi, Enrico Borrelli, Eleonora Corbelli, Luigi Capone, Alessandro Rabiolo, Adriano Carnevali, Marco Casaluci, Francesco Gelormini, Lea Querques, Francesco Bandello, Giuseppe Querques

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim To analyse quantitative optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) parameters of choriocapillaris (CC) at the foveal, perifoveal and parafoveal regions in healthy subjects of different age. Methods In this observational cross-sectional study, consecutive healthy subjects underwent swept source OCTA (PLEX Elite 9000, Carl Zeiss Meditec, USA). 3×3 mm and 6×6 mm scans centred on the fovea were acquired analysed and postprocessed with thresholding and binarisation processes. The main outcome measures included CC quantitative OCTA features (perfusion density (PD), vessel length density (VLD) and vessel diameter index (VDI)) at the foveal, perifoveal and parafoveal regions, and their relationship with age. Results Seventy-two eyes (72 patients, mean age 47.4±19.2 years, mean axial length 24.0±0.7 mm) were included. The mean PD was statistically lower in the foveal region compared with the parafoveal region in 3×3 mm scans (p=0.009). In subjects aged 70-80, PD of the foveal region was significantly reduced compared with the perifoveal region in 6×6 mm scans (p=0.008). A strong negative correlation was found between PD and ageing in the foveal, parafoveal and perifoveal regions (p<0.001 in all analyses). Furthermore, PD in the nasal-perifoveal region was significantly lower than the temporal-perifoveal region (p=0.005). No significant correlation was found between VLD and age in all regions, whereas VDI was strictly correlated with age (p<0.001). Conclusions We reported in vivo a strong negative correlation between PD and ageing in the CC of healthy subjects. This reduction seems related to a reduced diameter, and not to a reduced number, of capillaries. The age-related changes were higher in the central area compared with the perifoveal area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1320-1326
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2019


  • aging
  • choriocapillaris
  • healthy subjects
  • optical coherence tomography angiography
  • perfusion density
  • vessel density
  • vessel diameter index
  • vessel length density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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