Background/aims To investigate the relationship between aqueous flare, visual function and macular structures in retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Methods Clinical data from 123 patients with RP (227 eyes), 35 patients with macular dystrophy (68 eyes) and 148 controls (148 eyes) were analysed. The differences in aqueous flare between clinical entities and the correlation between aqueous flare (measured with a laser flare cell meter) versus visual acuity, visual field area (Goldmann perimetry) and macular thickness (optical coherence tomography) in patients with RP were determined. Influence of selected clinical data on flare was assessed using linear mixed-effects model. Results Aqueous flare was higher in patients with RP than patients with macular dystrophy or controls (p=7.49×E'13). Aqueous flare was correlated with visual field area (R='0.379, p=3.72×E'9), but not with visual acuity (R=0.083, p=0.215). Macular thickness (R=0.234, p=3.74×E'4), but not foveal thickness (R=0.122, p=0.067), was positively correlated with flare. Flare was not affected by the presence of macular complications. All these associations were maintained when the right and the left eyes were assessed separately. Analysis by linear mixed-effects model revealed that age (p=8.58×E-5), visual field area (p=8.01×E-7) and average macular thickness (p=0.037) were correlated with flare. Conclusion Aqueous flare and visual field area were correlated in patients with RP. Aqueous flare may reflect the degree of overall retinal degeneration more closely than the local foveal impairment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas