Early effects of inactivated (CoronaVac) SARS-CoV-2 vaccine on retrobulbar vascular blood flow and retinal vascular density

Yorgun M. A., Saritas O., Ozkan E., Tascı Yildiz Y., ÜNAL Ö., TOKLU Y.

Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy, vol.42, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.pdpdt.2023.103584
  • Journal Name: Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: Color Doppler ultrasonography, CoronaVac, Optical coherence tomography angiography, Retinal vascular density, Retrobulbar vascular blood flow
  • Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Affiliated: Yes


Aims: We aimed to investigate the early effects of inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine on retrobulbar vascular blood flow and retinal vascular density in healthy subjects. Methods: Thirty-four eyes of 34 healthy volunteers who received the CoronaVac (Sinovac Life Sciences, China) were included in this prospective study. Resistive index (RI), pulsatility index (PI) and peak systolic velocity (PSV) of the ophthalmic artery (OA), central retinal artery (CRA), and the temporal and nasal posterior ciliary arteries (PCA) were evaluated with color Doppler ultrasonography (CDUS) before vaccination, at the 2nd and 4th weeks after vaccination. Superficial capillary plexus (SCP) and deep capillary plexus (DCP) vessel density (VD), foveal avascular zone (FAZ), and choriocapillaris blood flow (CCF) measurements were made using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). Results: When compared to the pre-vaccination values, there was no significant change in OA-PSV, temporal-nasal PCA-PSV, CRA-EDV, temporal-nasal PCA-EDV at 2nd and 4th weeks after vaccination. However statistically significant reductions were found in the OA-RI, OA-PI, CRA-RI, CRA-PI, temporal-nasal PCA-RI, temporal-nasal PCA-PI values, CRA-PSV at post-vaccination 2nd week (p<0.05 for all). While there was sustained reduction in OA-RI, OA-PI, CRA-PSV, and nasal PCA-RI values at 4th week after vaccination, the change in CRA-RI, CRA-PI, temporal PCA-RI, temporal-nasal PCA-PI values were not significant compared to pre-vaccination values. There was no statistically significant difference in the SCP-VD, DCP-VD, FAZ and CCF measurements. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrating that CoronaVac vaccine did not affect retinal vascular density in the early period, but it caused alterations in the retrobulbar blood flow.