Comparison of retinal nerve fiber layer measurements using time domain and spectral domain optical coherent tomography

Ophthalmology. 2009 Jul;116(7):1271-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2008.12.032. Epub 2009 Apr 22.


Purpose: To determine the agreement between peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness measurements from Stratus time domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) and Cirrus spectral domain OCT (Carl Zeiss Meditec, Dublin, CA) in normal subjects and subjects with glaucoma.

Design: Evaluation of diagnostic test or technology.

Participants: A total of 130 eyes from 130 normal subjects and subjects with glaucoma were analyzed. The subjects were divided into groups by visual field criteria: normal (n = 29), glaucoma suspect (n = 12), mild glaucoma (n = 41), moderate glaucoma (n = 18), and severe glaucoma (n = 30).

Methods: Peripapillary RNFL thickness was measured with Stratus Fast RNFL and Cirrus 200 x 200 Optic Disc Scan on the same day in 1 eye of each subject to determine agreement. Two operators used the same instruments for all scans.

Main outcome measures: Student paired t testing, Pearson's correlation coefficient, and Bland-Altman analysis of RNFL thickness measurements.

Results: The average age of the glaucoma group was significantly more than that of the normal group: 68.3+/-12.3 years versus 55.7+/-12.1 years, respectively. For Stratus OCT, the average RNFL thickness (mean +/- standard deviation) was 99.4+/-13.2 microm, 94.5+/-15.0 microm, 79.0+/-14.5 microm, 62.7+/-10.2 microm, and 51.0+/-8.9 microm for the normal, suspect, mild, moderate, and severe groups, respectively. For Cirrus OCT, the corresponding measurements were 92.0+/-10.8 microm, 88.1+/-13.5 microm, 73.3+/-11.8 microm, 60.9+/-8.3 microm, and 55.3+/-6.6 microm. All Stratus-Cirrus differences were statistically significant by paired t testing (P<0.001) except for the moderate group (P = 0.11). For average RNFL, there was also a highly significant linear relationship between Stratus minus Cirrus difference and RNFL thickness (P<0.001). Bland-Altman plots showed that the systematic difference of Stratus measurements are smaller than Cirrus at thinner RNFL values but larger at thicker RNFL values.

Conclusions: RNFL thickness measurements between Stratus OCT and Cirrus OCT cannot be directly compared. Clinicians should be aware that measurements are generally higher with Stratus than with Cirrus except when the RNFL is very thin, as in severe glaucoma. This difference must be taken into account if comparing Stratus measurements with Cirrus measurements.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Fibers / pathology*
  • Optic Disk / pathology*
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / pathology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Fields