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Xinbo Zhang, Shawn M. Iverson, Ou Tan, David Huang; Effect of Signal Intensity on Measurement of Ganglion Cell Complex and Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Scans in Fourier-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2015;4(5):7. doi: 10.1167/tvst.4.5.7.
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We determined the effect of Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) signal strength index (SSI) and cropping on retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and macular ganglion cell complex (GCC) scan repeatability and measurement thickness.
Eyes were enrolled in the longitudinal Advanced Imaging for Glaucoma Study. At each visit, three repeat scans from the optic nerve head and macular protocols were obtained. Each measurement was associated with an SSI value from 0 to 100. Measurements with similar SSI scores were grouped to calculate repeatability defined as pooled standard deviation. Within-visit analysis was used to determine how measured thickness changed in relation to change in SSI level.
The study included 1130 eyes of 569 patients. Cropped images yielded significantly worse repeatability and they were excluded from subsequent analyses. The within-visit repeatability for RNFL and GCC measurements were significantly better with higher signal strength, and optimal cutoffs were SSI ≥ 37 and ≥ 44, respectively. The coefficient of variation was <1.8% for RNFL scans with SSI ≥ 37 and < 2% for GCC with SSI ≥ 44. For scans above the cutoff SSI, higher SSI's were correlated with thicker RNFL among normal (slope = 0.056 μm/SSI unit, P < 0.001) eyes and glaucoma suspect and perimetric glaucoma (GSPPG) eyes (slope = 0.060 μm/SSI unit, P < 0.001), but not for perimetric glaucoma (PG) eyes. No significant correlation was found for GCC.
Repeatability of RNFL and GCC thickness measurements may be improved by excluding images with cropped anatomic features and weak signal strength below recommended SSI cutoffs.
Measurement precision and image quality of inner eye structure by advanced imaging modality are important for clinical diagnosis and tracking of glaucoma disease.
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