Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eye (Lond). 2011 Oct;25(10):1347-55. doi: 10.1038/eye.2011.173. Epub 2011 Jul 15.

Effect of OCT volume scan density on thickness measurements in diabetic macular edema.

Author information

The Department of Ophthalmology, Doheny Eye Institute and Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.



To evaluate the impact of reducing B-scan frame-sampling density on retinal thickness measurements using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) in eyes with diabetic macular edema (DME).


We retrospectively collected OCT data for 64 eyes of 43 patients undergoing imaging for DME using the Cirrus HD-OCT 512 × 128 macular cube protocol. For each case, raw OCT data were imported into the 3D-OCTOR software, and retinal thickness maps were generated using all 128 B-scans and for lower densities of B-scans ranging from every other scan to only four scans (every 30-s B-scan). Maps were generated before and after manual correction of retinal boundary segmentation errors. The foveal central subfield (FCS) and total macular volume (TMV) values were used to compare thickness maps of varying densities.


The mean difference in FCS retinal thickness and TMV increased as the B-scan density was reduced, particularly when the density was reduced to fewer than 16 B-scans over 6 mm. At a density of 16 B-scans, the mean absolute difference in FCS thickness was 2.43 μm (0.79%), with a maximum of 10.1 μm (4.09%). At this density, the mean difference in TMV was 0.012 mm(3) (0.13%), with a maximum difference of 0.04 mm(3) (0.47%). Manual correction of OCT segmentation errors resulted in a difference in FCS thickness of ≥ 10 μm in only 12.5% of cases, with a maximum difference of 115.7 μm.


A minimum of 16 equally spaced B-scans appear necessary to generate retinal thickness measurements similar to those produced using all 128 B-scans in eyes with DME. Manual correction of segmentation errors appeared to have a clinically meaningful effect in a small minority of cases. These results may have implications for the design of SD-OCT imaging and grading protocols in clinical trials of DME, particularly when using multiple SD-OCT instruments that acquire varying numbers of B-scans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center