Comparison of anterior segment optical coherence tomography angiography and fluorescein angiography for iris vasculature analysis

  • Claudio ZettEmail author
  • Deborah M. Rosa Stina
  • Renata Tiemi Kato
  • Eduardo Amorim Novais
  • Norma Allemann
Retinal Disorders



The aim of this study is to perform imaging of irises of different colors using spectral domain anterior segment optical coherence tomography angiography (AS-OCTA) and iris fluorescein angiography (IFA) and compare their effectiveness in examining iris vasculature.


This is a cross-sectional observational clinical study. Patients with no vascular iris alterations and different pigmentation levels were recruited. Participants were imaged using OCTA adapted with an anterior segment lens and IFA with a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope (cSLO) adapted with an anterior segment lens. AS-OCTA and IFA images were then compared. Two blinded readers classified iris pigmentation and compared the percentage of visible vessels between OCTA and IFA images.


Twenty eyes of 10 patients with different degrees of iris pigmentation were imaged using AS-OCTA and IFA. Significantly more visible iris vessels were observed using OCTA than using FA (W = 5.22; p < 0.001). Iris pigmentation was negatively correlated to the percentage of visible vessels in both imaging methods (OCTA, rho = − 0.73, p < 0.001; IFA, rho = − 0.77, p < 0.001). Unlike FA, AS-OCTA could not detect leakage of dye, delay, or impregnation. Nystagmus and inadequate fixation along with motion artifacts resulted in lower quality images in AS-OCTA than in IFA.


AS-OCTA is a new imaging modality which allows analysis of iris vasculature. In both AS-OCTA and IFA, iris pigmentation caused vasculature imaging blockage, but AS-OCTA provided more detailed iris vasculature images than IFA. Additional studies including different iris pathologies are needed to determine the most optimal scanning parameters in OCTA of the anterior segment.


Iris vasculature Anterior segment optical coherence tomography angiography (AS-OCTA) Iris fluorescein angiography (IFA) 



We would like to thank Mr. José Luiz Piaba, photographer of the Department of Ophthalmology of the Federal University of Sao Paulo, Paulista School of Medicine, for capturing biomicroscopy photographs, and Institute of Vision (IPEPO) for providing the equipment RTVue XR OCT Avanti and allowing to examine the subjects at their center.


No funding was received for this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge, or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee (Brazilian Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the Federal University of São Paulo/Hospital São Paulo, process n° 1.955.380) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudio Zett
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Deborah M. Rosa Stina
    • 1
  • Renata Tiemi Kato
    • 1
  • Eduardo Amorim Novais
    • 1
  • Norma Allemann
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Departamento de Oftalmologia e Ciências Visuais, Escola Paulista de MedicinaUniversidade Federal de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Carrera de Tecnología Médica, Facultad de CienciasPontificia Universidad Católica de ValparaísoValparaísoChile
  3. 3.Bolsista do Programa Estudantes-Convênio de Pós-GraduaçãoPEC-PG, da CAPES/CNPqSão PauloBrazil
  4. 4.Department of Ophthalmology and Visual SciencesUniversity of Illinois at Chicago, UICChicagoUSA

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