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Patty P.A. Dhooge, Philipp T. Möller, Nils Meland, Katarina Stingl, Camiel J. F. Boon, Andrew J. Lotery, Maurizio Battaglia Parodi, Philipp Herrmann, Wolfgang Klein, Mario G. Fsadni, Thomas H. Wheeler-Schilling, Frank G. Holz, Carel B. Hoyng, Steffen Schmitz-Valckenberg, for the Soraprazan Consortium; Repeatability of Quantitative Autofluorescence Imaging in a Multicenter Study Involving Patients With Recessive Stargardt Disease 1. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2023;12(2):1. https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.12.2.1.
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This study assesses the repeatability of quantitative autofluorescence (qAF) in a multicenter setting and evaluates qAF as the end point for clinical trials in recessive Stargardt disease 1 (STGD1).
A total of 102 patients with STGD1 underwent qAF imaging as part of the Stargardt Remofuscin Treatment Trial (STARTT; EudraCT No. 2018-001496-20). For 166 eyes, we obtained qAF imaging at 2 visits, with 2 recordings per visit. The qAF8 values were independently determined by the study site and a central reading center. Intra- and inter-visit reproducibility, as well as interobserver (study site versus reading center) reproducibility were obtained using intraclass correlation (ICC), one-sample t-test, and Bland-Altman coefficient of repeatability.
The qAF repeatability was ± 26.1% for intra-visit, ± 40.5% for inter-visit, and ± 20.2% for the interobserver reproducibility measures. Intra-visit repeatability was good to excellent for all sites (ICC of 0.88–0.96). Variability between visits was higher with an overall ICC of 0.76 (0.69–0.81). We observed no significant difference in qAF values across sites between visits (7.06 ± 93.33, P = 0.238).
Real-life test-retest variability of qAF is higher in this set of data than previously reported in single center settings. With improved operator training and by selecting the better of two recordings for evaluation, qAF serves as a useful method for assessing changes in autofluorescence signal.
The qAF can be adopted as a clinical trial end point, but steps to counterbalance variability should be considered.
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