Purpose: To investigate the correlation of volumetric measurements of intraretinal (IRF) and subretinal fluid obtained by deep learning and central retinal subfield thickness (CSFT) based on optical coherence tomography in retinal vein occlusion, diabetic macular edema, and neovascular age-related macular degeneration.
Methods: A previously validated deep learning-based approach was used for automated segmentation of IRF and subretinal fluid in spectral domain optical coherence tomography images. Optical coherence tomography volumes of 2.433 patients obtained from multicenter studies were analyzed. Fluid volumes were measured at baseline and under antivascular endothelial growth factor therapy in the central 1, 3, and 6 mm.
Results: Patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration generally demonstrated the weakest association between CSFT and fluid volume measurements in the central 1 mm (0.107-0.569). In patients with diabetic macular edema, IRF correlated moderately with CSFT (0.668-0.797). In patients with retinal vein occlusion, IRF volumes showed a moderate correlation with CSFT (0.603-0.704).
Conclusion: The correlation of CSFT and fluid volumes depends on the underlying pathology. Although the amount of central IRF seems to partly drive CSFT in diabetic macular edema and retinal vein occlusion, it has only a limited impact on patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Our findings do not support the use of CSFT as a primary or secondary outcome measure for the quantification of exudative activity or treatment guidance.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00891735 NCT01948830 NCT01627249 NCT01535261 NCT01599650.