Author(s): Tanna P, Kasilian M, Strauss R, Tee J, Kalitzeos A, Tarima S, Visotcky A, Dubra A, Carroll J, Michaelides M. Reliability and repeatability of cone density measurements in patients with Stargardt disease and RPGR-associated retinopathy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 Jul 1;58(9):3608-3615. doi: 10.1167/iovs.17-21904. PMID 28738413
Purpose To assess reliability and repeatability of cone density measurements by using confocal and (nonconfocal) split-detector adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) imaging. It will be determined whether cone density values are significantly different between modalities in Stargardt disease (STGD) and retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator (RPGR)-associated retinopathy.
Methods Twelve patients with STGD (aged 9-52 years) and eight with RPGR-associated retinopathy (aged 11-31 years) were imaged using both confocal and split-detector AOSLO simultaneously. Four graders manually identified cone locations in each image that were used to calculate local densities. Each imaging modality was evaluated independently. The data set consisted of 1584 assessments of 99 STGD images (each image in two modalities and four graders who graded each image twice) and 928 RPGR assessments of 58 images (each image in two modalities and four graders who graded each image twice).
Results For STGD assessments the reliability for confocal and split-detector AOSLO was 67.9% and 95.9%, respectively, and the repeatability was 71.2% and 97.3%, respectively. The differences in the measured cone density values between modalities were statistically significant for one grader. For RPGR assessments the reliability for confocal and split-detector AOSLO was 22.1% and 88.5%, respectively, and repeatability was 63.2% and 94.5%, respectively. The differences in cone density between modalities were statistically significant for all graders.
Conclusions Split-detector AOSLO greatly improved the reliability and repeatability of cone density measurements in both disorders and will be valuable for natural history studies and clinical trials using AOSLO. However, it appears that these indices may be disease dependent, implying the need for similar investigations in other conditions.