A Monte Carlo Analysis of Error Associated With Two-Wavelength Algorithms for Retinal Oximetry

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016 Nov 1;57(14):6474-6481. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-20138.


Purpose: Two-wavelength algorithms aimed at the extrapolation of retinal vasculature optical properties are being used in the clinical setting. Although robust, this approach has some clear mathematical limitations. We have conducted an in-depth study of this methodology and report on the limits and benefit of this approach.

Methods: We used a well-tested, voxel-based Monte Carlo model of light transfer into biological tissue combined with a seven-layer model of the human fundus to create reflectance maps of retina vessels at different oxygenation levels.

Results: This study shows that the two-wavelength approach works remarkably well in the optimal scenario of known calibration arteries and veins. Errors as a result of choroidal pigmentation and discrepancies in vessel size can be minimized with numerical approaches. When the calibration process deviates largely from physiological values, the technique fails with large errors.

Conclusions: The two-wavelength approach is convenient, easy to implement, and suitable in studies where relative rather than absolute knowledge of retinal oximetry is necessary. A robust calibration step is paramount when using this approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Calibration
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Monte Carlo Method*
  • Oximetry / methods*
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retinal Vessels / physiology*


  • Oxygen