Evaluation of retinal and choroidal thickness by swept-source optical coherence tomography: repeatability and assessment of artifacts

Am J Ophthalmol. 2014 May;157(5):1022-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2014.02.008. Epub 2014 Feb 14.


Purpose: To determine the repeatability of automated retinal and choroidal thickness measurements with swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS OCT) and the frequency and type of scan artifacts.

Design: Prospective evaluation of new diagnostic technology.

Methods: Thirty healthy subjects were recruited prospectively and underwent imaging with a prototype SS OCT instrument. Undilated scans of 54 eyes of 27 subjects (mean age, 35.1 ± 9.3 years) were obtained. Each subject had 4 SS OCT protocols repeated 3 times: 3-dimensional (3D) 6 × 6-mm raster scan of the optic disc and macula, radial, and line scan. Automated measurements were obtained through segmentation software. Interscan repeatability was assessed by intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs).

Results: ICCs for choroidal measurements were 0.92, 0.98, 0.80, and 0.91, respectively, for 3D macula, 3D optic disc, radial, and line scans. ICCs for retinal measurements were 0.39, 0.49, 0.71, and 0.69, respectively. Artifacts were present in up to 9% scans. Signal loss because of blinking was the most common artifact on 3D scans (optic disc scan, 7%; macula scan, 9%), whereas segmentation failure occurred in 4% of radial and 3% of line scans. When scans with image artifacts were excluded, ICCs for choroidal thickness increased to 0.95, 0.99, 0.87, and 0.93 for 3D macula, 3D optic disc, radial, and line scans, respectively. ICCs for retinal thickness increased to 0.88, 0.83, 0.89, and 0.76, respectively.

Conclusions: Improved repeatability of automated choroidal and retinal thickness measurements was found with the SS OCT after correction of scan artifacts. Recognition of scan artifacts is important for correct interpretation of SS OCT measurements.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Artifacts*
  • Choroid / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retina / anatomy & histology*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*
  • Young Adult