Repeatability and Reproducibility of Superficial Macular Retinal Vessel Density Measurements Using Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography En Face Images

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Abstract

Importance

The repeatability and reproducibility of quantitative metrics from optical coherence tomographic angiography (OCTA) must be assessed before these data can be confidently interpreted in clinical research and practice.

Objective

To evaluate the repeatability and reproducibility of OCTA-derived retinal vascular quantitative metrics.

Design, Setting and Participants

In this cross-sectional study, 21 healthy volunteers (42 eyes) and 22 patients with retinal disease (22 eyes), including 14 with age-related macular degeneration, 3 with epiretinal membrane, 2 with diabetic retinopathy, 2 with myopic macular degeneration, and 1 with retinal vein occlusion, were enrolled. Participants were recruited from September 1 through November 31, 2016. Each eye underwent 3 repeated scans with 3 instruments for a total of 9 acquisitions. Eyes were randomly assigned to scanning with a 3 × 3-mm or 6 × 6-mm pattern. Eyes were excluded from subsequent analysis if any acquisition had a signal strength of less than 7. Repeatability (defined as the agreement in measurements within a device) and reproducibility (defined as the agreement between devices of the same type) were assessed by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and coefficient of variation.

Exposures

All eyes underwent scanning using 3 separate devices.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Vessel length density (VLD) and perfusion density (PD) of the superficial retinal vasculature.

Results

A total of 21 healthy volunteers (8 men and 13 women; mean [SD] age, 36 [6] years) and 22 patients with retinal disease (15 men and 7 women; mean [SD] age, 79 [9] years) underwent evaluation. Of these, 40 of 42 normal eyes and 15 of 22 eyes with retinal disease met signal strength criteria and were included in this analysis. The ICC among the 3 consecutive scans ranged from 0.82 to 0.98 for VLD and from 0.83 to 0.95 for PD. The coefficient of variation (CV) ranged from 2.2% to 5.9% for VLD and from 2.4% to 5.9% for PD. For reproducibility, the ICC ranged from 0.62 to 0.95 and the CV was less than 6% in all groups. The agreement was highest for the 3 × 3-mm pattern in the inner ring (ICC range, 0.92 [95% CI, 0.85-0.96] to 0.96 [95% CI, 0.93-0.98]) and 6 × 6-mm pattern in the outer ring (ICC range, 0.93 [95% CI, 0.86-0.97] to 0.96 [95% CI, 0.92-0.98]).

Conclusions and Relevance

Vessel length density and PD of the superficial retinal vasculature can be obtained from OCTA images with high levels of repeatability and reproducibility but can vary with scan pattern and location.

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