Optical coherence tomography angiography quality across three multicenter clinical studies of diabetic retinopathy

the DRCR Retina Network

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: To explore optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) quality and associated factors in multicenter clinical studies. Methods: OCTA scans were obtained from participants with diabetic retinopathy from three DRCR Retina Network clinical studies using the Optovue AngioVue and ZEISS AngioPlex. Macular (3 × 3 mm and 6 × 6 mm) and optic nerve scans were captured. Quality was assessed by the Casey Reading Center. Scans were considered “poor” if the signal strength index (SSI) was less than 55 (AngioVue) or 7 (AngioPlex) or if excess motion, media opacities, beam defocus, incorrect axial position, or other artifacts were present. Results: Included were 7539 scans from 787 eyes (461 participants). Sixty-one percent of scans were considered “good” (n = 4630). Of the 3 × 3-mm (n = 2294), 6 × 6-mm (n = 2705), and optic nerve scans (n = 2540), 62%, 63%, and 59%, respectively, were good. Differences in percentage of good scans by machine were not identified (61% of 6216 for the AngioVue and 63% of 1323 for the AngioPlex). The primary reason for poor scans was low SSI for the AngioVue (67%) and excess motion for the AngioPlex (47%). Good scans were associated with younger age (60 ± 12 years vs. 65 ± 11 years; P < 0.001), male gender (64% of males had good scans vs. 57% female; P = 0.007), and better visual acuity (ETDRS letter score 86.5 ± 6.4 [approximate Snellen equivalent 20/20] vs. 81.6 ± 9.7 [approximate Snellen equivalent 20/25]; P < 0.001). Conclusions: Scan quality or analysis must be improved for OCTA metrics to be used as outcomes in future research. Translational Relevance: Clinicians and researchers should be aware that poor SSI and artifacts are common issues for OCTA images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • OCT
  • OCT angiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Biomedical Engineering


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