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Agreement among graders on Heidelberg retina tomograph (HRT) topographic change analysis (TCA) glaucoma progression interpretation


Purpose To evaluate agreement among experts of Heidelberg retina tomography's (HRT) topographic change analysis (TCA) printout interpretations of glaucoma progression and explore methods for improving agreement.

Methods 109 eyes of glaucoma, glaucoma suspect and healthy subjects with ≥5 visits and 2 good quality HRT scans acquired at each visit were enrolled. TCA printouts were graded as progression or non-progression. Each grader was presented with 2 sets of tests: a randomly selected single test from each visit and both tests from each visit. Furthermore, the TCA printouts were classified with grader's individual criteria and with predefined criteria (reproducible changes within the optic nerve head, disregarding changes along blood vessels or at steep rim locations and signs of image distortion). Agreement among graders was modelled using common latent factor measurement error structural equation models for ordinal data.

Results Assessment of two scans per visit without using the predefined criteria reduced overall agreement, as indicated by a reduction in the slope, reflecting the correlation with the common factor, for all graders with no effect on reducing the range of the intercepts between the graders. Using the predefined criteria improved grader agreement, as indicated by the narrower range of intercepts among the graders compared with assessment using individual grader's criteria.

Conclusions A simple set of predefined common criteria improves agreement between graders in assessing TCA progression. The inclusion of additional scans from each visit does not improve the agreement. We, therefore, recommend setting standardised criteria for TCA progression evaluation.

  • Glaucoma
  • Imaging

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