Disease Markers | 2021
Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography Characteristics Serve as Retinal Vein Occlusion Therapeutic Biomarkers for Dexamethasone Intravitreal Implant
Background Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is the second most common vision-threatening retinal vascular disease. Intravitreal dexamethasone implant has been applied to treat macular edema secondary to RVO (RVO-ME). However, the alteration of morphologic features detected with optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) has not been fully studied in RVO-ME patients before and after the treatment. Objective This study is aimed at identifying potential therapeutic targets in RVO with integrative bioinformatic analysis and compares the OCTA characteristics alterations in patients with RVO-ME receiving injection of dexamethasone intravitreal implant. Methods Bioinformatic analysis was analyzed in GSE101398 dataset from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. Multiple functional enrichment analyses were performed, and protein-protein interaction network was constructed to visualize the key node genes. Eleven eyes with RVO-ME were examined with OCTA before and after intravitreal dexamethasone implant. The OCTA parameters, including macular thickness, vessel density, foveal avascular zone parameters, the number of hyperreflective foci (HRF), area of cystoid edema, and subretinal fluid (SRF), were compared. The correlation was analyzed between best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and OCTA parameters. Results A total of 79 differentially expressed genes were identified. Functional enrichment analyses revealed the enriched inflammatory events in RVO. In RVO-ME, Pearson correlation revealed that baseline BCVA was positively correlated with the area of SRF and central macular thickness, while no correlation was detected between baseline BCVA and HRF number or the area of cystoid edema. The visual acuity improved, and the central macular thickness was decreased after intravitreal dexamethasone implant injection. Besides, the number of HRF, the area of cystoid edema, and SRF were significantly alleviated after dexamethasone intravitreal injection. Conclusion Retinal inflammation plays a crucial role in RVO pathogenesis. The imaging biomarkers of RVO including Müller glial intracellular edema, and retinal pigment epithelium dysfunction, could be assessed in OCTA and attenuated by intravitreal dexamethasone implant effectively.