Background: Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) enables fast and non-invasive high-resolution imaging of retinal microvasculature and is suggested as a potential tool in the early detection of retinal microvascular changes in Alzheimer's Disease (AD). We developed a standardised OCTA analysis framework and compared their extracted parameters among controls and AD/mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in a cross-section study. Methods: We defined and extracted geometrical parameters of retinal microvasculature at different retinal layers and in the foveal avascular zone (FAZ) from segmented OCTA images obtained using well-validated state-of-the-art deep learning models. We studied these parameters in 158 subjects (62 healthy control, 55 AD and 41 MCI) using logistic regression to determine their potential in predicting the status of our subjects. Results: In the AD group, there was a significant decrease in vessel area and length densities in the inner vascular complexes (IVC) compared with controls. The number of vascular bifurcations in AD is also significantly lower than that of healthy people. The MCI group demonstrated a decrease in vascular area, length densities, vascular fractal dimension and the number of bifurcations in both the superficial vascular complexes (SVC) and the IVC compared with controls. A larger vascular tortuosity in the IVC, and a larger roundness of FAZ in the SVC, can also be observed in MCI compared with controls. Conclusion: Our study demonstrates the applicability of OCTA for the diagnosis of AD and MCI, and provides a standard tool for future clinical service and research. Biomarkers from retinal OCTA images can provide useful information for clinical decision-making and diagnosis of AD and MCI.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience