Publications by authors named "Valentin Hacker"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Impact of large choroidal vessels on choriocapillaris flow deficit analyses in optical coherence tomography angiography.

PLoS One 2021 3;16(8):e0254955. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

Vienna Clinical Trial Center (VTC), Department of Ophthalmology and Optometry, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Purpose: To investigate the impact of large choroidal vessels (LCV) on Choriocapillaris (CC) flow deficit (FD) analyses with swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography (SS-OCTA).

Design: Prospective, cross-sectional study.

Methods: Macular 6x6mm SS-OCTA scans were obtained from intermediate age-related macular degeneration (iAMD) and healthy eyes. Images were captured and processed according to most common standards and analyzed for percentage of flow-deficits (FD%) within four 1x1mm squares at the corners of each image. Choroidal thickness (CT), iris color and refraction error were considered as potential influential factors for LCV visibility. A linear mixed model and logistic regression models were calculated for statistical evaluation.

Results: Sixty-nine iAMD and 49 age-matched healthy eyes were enrolled. LCV were visible in at least one sector in 52% of iAMD and 47% of healthy eyes. Within the iAMD group FD% were significantly lower in areas containing LCV (p = 0.0029). Increasing CT resulted in an odds ratio decrease of LCV (OR: 0.94, p<0.0001). Below a CT value of ≤118μm LCV could be expected with a sensitivity of 86% and a specificity of 85%.

Conclusions: LCV can significantly affect CC FD analyses of SS-OCTA images. Their visibility is negatively associated with CT. The impact of LCV should be taken into account when performing CC FD assessments, especially in patients where reduced CT is to be expected and inclusion of affected areas should be considered carefully.
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August 2021

Three-dimensional composition of the photoreceptor cone layers in healthy eyes using adaptive-optics optical coherence tomography (AO-OCT).

PLoS One 2021 7;16(1):e0245293. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Ophthalmology and Optometry, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Purpose: To assess the signal composition of cone photoreceptors three-dimensionally in healthy retinas using adaptive optics optical coherence tomography (AO-OCT).

Methods: Study population. Twenty healthy eyes of ten subjects (age 23 to 67). Procedures. After routine ophthalmological assessments, eyes were examined using AO-OCT. Three-dimensional volumes were acquired at 2.5° and 6.5° foveal eccentricity in four main meridians (superior, nasal, inferior, temporal). Cone densities and signal compositions were investigated in four different planes: the cone inner segment outer segment junction (IS/OS), the cone outer segment combined with the IS/OS (ISOS+), the cone outer segment tips (COST) and full en-face plane (FEF) combining signals from all mentioned cone layers. Additionally, reliability of a simple semi-automated approach for assessment of cone density was tested. Main outcome measures. Cone density of IS/OS, IS/OS+, COST and FEF. Qualitative depiction and composition of each cone layer. Inter-rater agreement of cone density measurements.

Results: Mean overall cone density at all eccentricities was highest at the FEF plane (21.160/mm2), followed by COST (20.450/mm2), IS/OS+ (19.920/mm2) and IS/OS (19.530/mm2). The different meridians and eccentricities had a significant impact on cone density, with lower eccentricity resulting in higher cone densities (p≤.001), which were highest at the nasal, then temporal, then inferior and then superior meridian. Depiction of the cone mosaic differed between all 4 layers regarding signal size and packing density. Therefore, different cone layers showed evident but not complete signal overlap. Using the semi-automated technique for counting of cone signals achieved high inter-rater reliability (ICC > .99).

Conclusions: In healthy individuals qualitative and quantitative changes in cone signals are found not only in different eccentricities and meridians, but also within different photoreceptor layers. The variation between cone planes has to be considered when assessing the integrity of cone photoreceptors in healthy and diseased eyes using adaptive optics technology.
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May 2021


Retina 2021 Jun;41(6):1236-1241

Department of Ophthalmology and Optometry, Christian Doppler Laboratory for Ophthalmic Image Analysis, Vienna Reading Center, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Purpose: To prospectively investigate the development of quantitative autofluorescence (qAF) during progression from intermediate to late age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Methods: Quantitative autofluorescence images from patients with intermediate AMD were acquired every three months with a Spectralis HRA + OCT (Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany) using a built-in autofluorescence reference. The association between changes in longitudinal qAF and progression toward late AMD was assessed using Cox regression models with time-dependent covariates.

Results: One hundred and twenty-one eyes of 71 patients were included, and 653 qAF images were acquired. Twenty-one eyes of 17 patients converted to late AMD (median follow-up: 21 months; 12 eyes: atrophic AMD; nine eyes: neovascular AMD). The converting patients' mean age was 74.6 ± 4.4 years. Eleven eyes in the converting group (52.4%) were pseudophakic. The presence of an intraocular lens did not affect the qAF regression slopes (P > 0.05). The median change for atrophic AMD was -2.34 qAF units/3 months and 0.78 qAF units/3 months for neovascular AMD. A stronger decline in qAF was significantly associated with an increased risk of developing atrophic AMD (hazard ratio = 1.022, P < 0.001). This association, however, was not present in the group progressing toward neovascular AMD (hazard ratio = 1.001, P = 0.875).

Conclusion: The qAF signal declines with progression to atrophy, contrary to developing neovascularization. Quantitative autofluorescence may allow identification of patients at risk of progressing to late AMD and benefits individualized patient care in intermediate AMD.
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June 2021