Purpose : The aim of this study was to compare retinal thicknesses and vascular parameters between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and neurotypical (NT) individuals.
Methods : 14 eyes of 14 high-functioning ASD subjects and 14 eyes of 14 age- and sex-matched NT participants underwent 4 scans with the device Cirrus HD-OCT 5000 (Zeiss): macular cube, optic nerve cube, macular and optic nerve head (ONH) OCT angiography (OCT-A). Concerning OCT, thickness of full retina in 9 sectors of macular ETDRS pattern and peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) in 4 quadrants and 12 clock-hour sectors were considered. Vessel density and capillary perfusion density in 9 sectors were measured using macular OCT-A. ONH OCT-A estimated perfusion density and flux index in 4 peripapillary quadrants. Comparions between groups of these parameters were performed using U Mann-Whitney test.
Results : ASD subjects showed higher ONH perfusion density and lower ONH flux index at the inferior quadrant when compared with NT individuals (p<0.05). Plus, a trend towards higher macular thickness, higher pRNFL thickness at inferior clock-hour sectors and higher macular vessel density and perfusion was observed in ASD.
Conclusions : Retinas of ASD subjects may present some structural and vascular differences when compared with retinas of NT individuals.