The degree of visual field (VF) loss can vary widely at a given level of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness. The cause of this variability is not fully understood. This cross-sectional study investigated whether the presence of choroidal microvasculature dropout (MvD) influences on the structure-function relationship among glaucomatous eyes. Seventy-one primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) patients with choroidal MvD as determined by optical coherence tomography angiography (MvD+ group), and 71 age- and inferotemporal (IT) RNFL thickness-matched POAG patients without MvD (MvD– group) were included. VF sensitivity within the region corresponding to the IT RNFL sector was averaged using the total and pattern deviation fields. The slope of log-scale RNFL thickness versus VF defect was significantly steeper for the MvD+ than the MvD– group, as determined by both total and pattern deviation maps (P = 0.004 and <0.001, respectively). Both total and pattern VF deviation were significantly worse in the MvD+ than in the MvD– group (P = 0.002 and 0.007, respectively). Same results were obtained in subgroup analyses for eyes with thick and thin RNFL thickness (all P ≤ 0.027). These data suggest that parapapillary MvD is associated with poorer function of the remaining axons in eyes with POAG.
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