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Anterior segment optical coherence tomography angiography for iris vasculature in pigmented eyes


Purpose To compare anterior segment optical coherence tomography angiography (AS-OCTA) systems in delineating normal iris vessels and iris neovascularisation (NVI) in eyes with pigmented irides.

Methods Prospective study from January 2019 to June 2019 of 10 consecutive patients with normal pigmented iris, had AS-OCTA scans with a described illumination technique, before using the same protocol in five eyes with NVI (clinical stages 1–3). All scans were sequentially performed using a spectral-domain OCTA (SD-OCTA), and a swept-source OCTA (SS-OCTA, Plex Elite 9000). Images were graded by two masked observers for visibility, artefacts and NVI characteristics. The main outcome measure was iris vessel density measurements comparing SS-OCTA and SD-OCTA systems.

Results The median age of subjects was 28 (20–35) years, and 50% were female. The paired mean difference of iris vessel density measurements was 11.7 (95% CI 14.7 to 8.1; p=0.002), SS-OCTA detecting more vessels than SD-OCTA. The inter-rater reliability for artefact score (κ=0.799, p<0.001) and visibility score (κ=0.722; p<0.001) were substantial. Both AS-OCTA systems were able to detect NVI vessels with a fair agreement (κ=0.588), with clearer NVI characteristics in stage 1/2 compared to stage 3 NVI (mean difference NVI score: 2.7±0.4, p=0.009).

Conclusion The SS-OCTA was better able to delineate iris vessels in normal pigmented irides compared to SD-OCTA. Both AS-OCTA systems identified NVI characteristics based on its atypical configuration or location, but further improvements are needed to allow for more accurate objective, serial quantification for clinical use.

  • Iris
  • Imaging

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