Diabetic macular oedema quantified with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography – evaluation of boundary line artefacts and the effect on retinal thickness

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ABSTRACT.Purpose:To characterize frequency, morphological cause and time-dependent change of boundary line artefacts in optical coherence tomography (OCT) examinations of centre-involved diabetic macular oedema (ciDME) patients who underwent ranibizumab treatment with 1-year follow-up and to evaluate the impact of artefacts on retinal thickness.Methods:One hundred and fourteen patients were examined with radial scan protocol by Topcon 3D OCT at baseline, 3 and 12 months. All B scans from all visits were examined for boundary line artefacts (artefacts) and were stratified by morphological element causing artefacts including hard exudates (HE), epiretinal membranes (ERM), optical opacities and serous detachments. Boundary line artefacts were manually corrected and the corrected central subfield thickness (CST) and macular volume were compared with automated values. Data were compared with a repeatability coefficient of 25 μm.Results:Boundary line artefacts were found in 51.8% of the total 342 OCT examinations and in 25.5% of the total 2052 B scans. Morphological elements that caused artefacts in the total 2052 B scans were HE (10.6%), ERM (10.3%), optical opacities (4.4%), serous detachments (1.7%) and others (1.2%). The number of artefacts due to HE decreased significantly (p = 0.0005), and the number of artefacts due to ERM were unchanged (p = 0.087) during 12 months. In OCT examinations with artefacts caused by HE, manually corrected CST was statistically significant higher than automated value at baseline and 3 months. For ERM, manually corrected CST was statistically significant lower than automated value at baseline and 12 months.Conclusion:Boundary line artefacts in OCT examinations of ciDME patients using Topcon 3D OCT occur in 51.8%. In situation of boundary line artefacts in centre 1-mm area every fourth OCT examination has a change in CST beyond 25 μm.

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