The Effects of chronic smoking on retinal vascular densities and choroidal thicknesses measured by optical coherence tomography angiography

Gökmen O., Ozgur G.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF OPHTHALMOLOGY, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/11206721221124650
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: optical coherence tomography angiography, retinal vascular density, smoking, nicotine, vascular effects, choroidal thickness, CIGARETTE-SMOKING, BARRIER
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose To examine the effects of chronic smoking on vascular density in superficial and deep retinal vascular plexuses and choroidal thicknesses. Method Superficial and deep vessel densities and choroidal thicknesses of smoking volunteers and healthy non-smoking volunteers were measured with the Topcon DRI OCT-1 Tritron (R) device and compared with each other. Results This study included 108 eyes of 54 smoking volunteers and 108 eyes of 54 healthy volunteers as a control group. The average superficial vascular density index and deep vascular density indexes of smokers were found to be 39.81 +/- 1.5% and 42.53 +/- 1.9%, respectively (P = 0.53), while the non-smoking control group was 40.09 +/- 1.3% and 41.57 +/- 1.6%, respectively (P = 0.006). Average choroidal thicknesses were 284.22 +/- 59 in smokers and 270.72 +/- 61 in the control group (P = 0.247). Also, smoking quantity per day x years was found to be significantly negatively correlated with average choroidal thicknesses. (P = 0,011). Discussion In this study, it was determined that chronic smoking increases deep retinal vascular densities on retinal vascular plexus. However, the cumulative effect of smoking was found to be negatively correlated with choroidal thicknesses. Smoking has microvascular effects on vessels such as vasodilatation, vasoconstriction, increased platelet aggregation, endothelial dysfunction. However, studies in the literature are in dispute with the effects of smoking on choroidal and retinal vessels. This study may show that chronic smoking may have different vascular effects on the superficial and deep plexuses and choroidal vessels, as well as different effects from acute use.