Br J Ophthalmol 93:1461-1467 doi:10.1136/bjo.2008.155846
  • Original Article
  • Clinical science

Accuracy of retinal thickness measurements obtained with Cirrus optical coherence tomography

  1. P A Keane1,
  2. P S Mand2,
  3. S Liakopoulos3,
  4. A C Walsh1,
  5. S R Sadda1
  1. 1
    Doheny Image Reading Center, Doheny Eye Institute, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
  2. 2
    David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
  3. 3
    Department of Vitreoretinal Surgery, Center for Ophthalmology, University of Cologne, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr S R Sadda, Doheny Image Reading Center, Doheny Eye Institute, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, 1450 San Pablo Street, DEI 3623, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA; sadda{at}
  • Accepted 29 April 2009
  • Published Online First 1 July 2009


Aim: To report the frequency and severity of retinal thickness measurement errors in a Fourier domain optical coherence tomography (FDOCT) device, Cirrus OCT.

Methods: Data from 209 eyes undergoing Cirrus OCT imaging with the Macular Cube protocol were collected. For each eye, the position of the automated retinal boundary lines used by the Cirrus OCT software for thickness calculations was assessed using a 6-point categorical scale. The presence of errors was correlated with various parameters including: retinal morphological features and disease diagnosis.

Results: Errors of retinal boundary detection were observed in 57.5% of eyes but were severe in only 9.6% of eyes. The identification of subretinal fluid, subretinal tissue, pigment epithelium detachment or a diagnosis of choroidal neovascularisation was associated with more severe errors. Retinal cysts or a diagnosis of retinal vascular disease were less likely to be associated with significant error.

Conclusions: Retinal thickness measurement errors appear to occur less frequently with Fourier domain OCT (Cirrus OCT), but segmentation errors remain a concern, particularly in assessment of eyes with structurally complex retinal disease. With the recent release of multiple FDOCT systems, assessment of segmentation error may be an important factor in determining the relative merits of these systems.


  • Funding Supported in part by NIH Grant EY03040 and NEI Grant R01 EY014375

  • Competing interests ACW and SRS are coinventors of Doheny intellectual property related to optical coherence tomography that has been licensed by Topcon Medical Systems, and have also served as consultants for Heidelberg Engineering. However, this is not related to the article’s subject matter.

  • Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the institutional review board of the University of Southern California.

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