COVID-19 vaccination does not bring about any significant macular or optic disc vasculature changes, according to research published in Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy.
“New vaccines have been industrialized, booster doses may be obligatory soon and the issue of children’s vaccination is in the near future,” according to the researchers. “So, studying the effect of the various types of vaccines has become mandatory.”
Investigators included 100 individuals (mean age, 48.40 years; 68% women) who received either inactivated, viral vector-based, or mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in the analysis and examined macular and optic disc vascular changes following vaccination. Study participants underwent comprehensive examinations and optical coherence tomography-angiography (OCT-A) imaging prior to vaccination and 1 week following vaccination. The research team obtained superficial and deep capillary plexus capillary densities in the whole image, fovea, parafoveal, and perifoveal regions and optic disc vessel densities in the whole disc, inside disc, and peripapillary regions.
Neither superficial nor deep macular vessel densities experienced any statistically significant changes in the whole image, fovea, parafoveal, or perifoveal region (P >.05 for all) following vaccination, according to the report. Foveal avascular zone (FAZ) area experienced statistically insignificant reductions post vaccination (P =.052; ≤-0.08 mm2 for all vaccine types). Radial peripapillary capillary density did not undergo any significant changes in the whole disc, inside disc, or peripapillary area compared with baseline (P =.807, P =.141, and P =.883, respectively).
“[V]arious types of COVID-19 vaccines had no statistically significant effects on macular or optic disc microvasculature,” according to the study authors. “This enhances their safety which allows us to give booster doses. Moreover, this motivates us to investigate their safety on children.”
Study limitations include a small sample size and an underrepresentation of men in the study sample.
El-Dien Mohammed El-Haddad NS, El-Wahed Hassan EA, El-Wahab Khalil AA, Madbouly WA, El-Sabour Shalaby SA, Mohammed NS. The effect of various types of COVID-19 vaccines on the retinal microvasculature. Photodiagnosis Photodyn Ther. Published online January 8, 2023. doi:10.1016/j.pdpdt.2023.103275