Background and objective: To determine the reproducibility of retinal thickness measurements in normal eyes using optical coherence tomography (OCT).
Patients and methods: Multiple 3.20-mm vertical cross-sectional images through the center of fixation of consecutive patients with normal results on ocular examinations were obtained. Each image was divided into seven 320-micron segments. Regional retinal thicknesses for each section were measured using both the manually assisted (requiring observer localization of reflectivity peaks) and the automated modes (observer-independent measurement) of the computer software.
Results: Eighteen right eyes were studied. The mean coefficient of variation was less than 10% for all locations using the manually assisted method (average standard deviation less than 17 microns [range 9 to 16 microns]). The automated method was less reliable, with a coefficient of variation greater than 10% for locations within 500 microns of fixation. Automated measurements at fixation were the least reproducible because of poor internal limiting membrane reflectivity.
Conclusion: OCT is capable of reproducible measurement of retinal thickness in normal eyes. Computer-driven, automated measurement of retinal thickness within 500 microns of fixation needs to be refined and its reproducibility reassessed in this region.