Epiretinal membrane as a source of errors during the measurement of peripapillary nerve fibre thickness using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT)

  • Florian Rüfer
  • Julia Jasmin Bartsch
  • Carl Erb
  • Anneliese Riehl
  • Philipp Franko Zeitz
Glaucoma

Abstract

Purpose

We aimed to examine the extent to which measurement errors in the determination of retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) occur in cases of epiretinal membrane and whether systematic deviations are found in the values obtained.

Methods

A macular scan and a circumpapillary scan were performed on 97 eyes of 97 patients using SD-OCT. Group 1 comprised 53 patients with epiretinal membrane at an age of 70 ± 4.8 years (median ± average absolute deviation). Group 2 consisted of 44 patients without any macular pathologies (median age 70 ± 5.8 years). Differences in the thickness of the RNFL and segmentation errors in the detection of the RNFL were recorded quantitatively in both groups and checked for statistical significance using non-parametric tests.

Results

The median central retinal thickness in Group 1 was 357 ± 79 μm (median ± average absolute deviation), and in Group 2 it was 270 ± 11 μm (p < 0.001). The result of the quadrant-by-quadrant measurement of the average RNFL in Group 1 and Group 2, respectively, was: temporal 88 ± 17 and 73 ± 9 μm, inferior 121 ± 17 and 118 ± 15 μm, nasal 87 ± 15 and 89 ± 14 μm and superior 115 ± 15 and 114 ± 9 μm. Temporally, the difference was statistically significant (p < 0.001). Segmentation errors of the RNFL were found in 19 of 53 eyes (35.8 %) in Group 1 and in no eyes (p < 0.001) in Group 2.

Conclusions

In eyes with epiretinal membrane, measuring errors in the SD-OCT occur significantly more frequently than in eyes without any retinal pathologies. If epiretinal membrane and glaucoma are present simultaneously, the results of the automated RNFL measurement using SD-OCT should be critically scrutinised, even if no papillary changes are visible clinically.

Keywords

Measuring error Peripapillary nerve fibre thickness Epiretinal membrane Optical coherence tomography 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florian Rüfer
    • 1
  • Julia Jasmin Bartsch
    • 2
  • Carl Erb
    • 3
  • Anneliese Riehl
    • 1
  • Philipp Franko Zeitz
    • 4
  1. 1.nordBLICK Eye Clinic BellevueKielGermany
  2. 2.University of Münster Medical CenterMünsterGermany
  3. 3.Eye Clinic WittenbergplatzBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Practice Zeitz Franko ZeitzDüsseldorfGermany

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