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Shivany Y. Condor Montes, Daniel Bennett, Ethan Bensinger, Lakshmisahithi Rani, Younes Sherkat, Chao Zhao, Zachary Helft, Austin Roorda, Ari J. Green, Christy K. Sheehy; Characterizing Fixational Eye Motion Variance Over Time as Recorded by the Tracking Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2022;11(2):35. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.11.2.35.
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The purpose of this study was to characterize the benign biological variance of fixational microsaccades in a control population using a tracking scanning laser ophthalmoscope (TSLO), accounting for machine accuracy and precision, to determine ideal testing conditions to detect pathologic change in fixational eye motion (FEM).
We quantified the accuracy and precision of the TSLO, analyzing measurements made by three operators on a model eye. Repeated, 10-second retinal motion traces were then recorded in 17 controls, 3 times a day (morning, afternoon, and evening), on 3 separate days. Microsaccade metrics (MMs) of frequency, average amplitude, peak velocity, and peak acceleration were extracted. Trace to trace, interday, and intraday variability were calculated across all subjects.
Intra-operator and machine variation contributed minimally to total variation, with only 0.007% and 0.14% contribution for frequency and amplitude respectively. Bias was detected, with lower accuracy for higher amplitudes. Participants had an average (SD) microsaccade frequency of 0.84 Hz (0.52 Hz), amplitude of 0.32 degrees (0.11 degrees), peak velocity of 43.68 degrees/s (14.02 degrees/s), and peak acceleration of 13,920.04 degrees/s2 (4,186.84 degrees/s2). The first trace recorded within a session significantly differed from the second two in both microsaccade acceleration and velocity (P < 0.05), and frequency was 0.098 Hz higher in the evenings (P < 0.05). There was no MM difference between days and no evidence of a session-level learning effect (P > 0.05).
The TSLO is both accurate and precise. However, biological inter- and intra-individual variance is present. Trace to trace variability and time of day should be accounted for to optimize detection of pathologic change.
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