Optical coherence tomography angiography in acute arteritic and non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy

  • Nicole Balducci
  • Mariachiara Morara
  • Chiara Veronese
  • Piero Barboni
  • Nicoletta Lelli Casadei
  • Giacomo Savini
  • Vincenzo Parisi
  • Alfredo A. Sadun
  • Antonio Ciardella



The purpose of our study was to describe the feature of acute non-arteritic or arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NA-AION and A-AION) using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) and to compare it with fluorescein angiography (FA) and indocyanine green angiography (ICGA).


In this retrospective, observational case-control study four NA-AION patients and one A-AION patient were examined by FA, ICGA and OCT-A within 2 weeks from disease presentation. The characteristics of the images were analyzed. Optic nerve head (ONH) and radial peripapillary capillaries (RPC) vessel densities (VDs) were compared between NA-AION and controls.


In two of four NA-AION cases and in the A-AION patient, OCT-A clearly identified the boundary of the ischemic area at the level of the optic nerve head, which was comparable to optic disc filling defects detected by FA. In the other two NA-AION cases, a generalized leakage from the disc was visible with FA, yet OCT-A still demonstrated sectorial peripapillary capillary network reduction. Both ONH and RPC VDs were reduced in NA-AION patients, when compared to controls.


OCT-A was able to identify microvascular defects and VD reduction in cases of acute optic disc edema due to NA-AION and A-AION. OCT-A provides additional information in ischemic conditions of the optic nerve head.


A-AION Arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy Fluorescein angiography NA-AION Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy OCT-A;optical coherence tomography angiography Vessel density 



No funding was received for this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financtial interest, or non-financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study formal consent is not required.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Proprietary interest

None of the author has proprietary interest in the content of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicole Balducci
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mariachiara Morara
    • 2
  • Chiara Veronese
    • 2
  • Piero Barboni
    • 1
    • 3
  • Nicoletta Lelli Casadei
    • 2
  • Giacomo Savini
    • 4
  • Vincenzo Parisi
    • 4
  • Alfredo A. Sadun
    • 5
  • Antonio Ciardella
    • 2
  1. 1.Studio Oculistico d’AzeglioBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Ophthalmology Unit, Sant’Orsola-Malpighi HospitalBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Scientific Institute San RaffaeleMilanItaly
  4. 4.GB Bietti Foundation IRCCSRomeItaly
  5. 5.Department of Ophthalmology, Doheny Eye InstituteUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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