Repeatability of nerve fiber layer thickness measurements in patients with glaucoma and without glaucoma using spectral-domain and time-domain OCT

Marc Töteberg-Harms, Veit Sturm, Pascal B. Knecht, Jens Funk, Marcel N. Menke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background The aim of this work is to assess the repeatability of spectral-domain-OCT (SD-OCT) retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFL) thickness measurements in a non-glaucoma group and patients with glaucoma and to compare these results to conventional time-domain-OCT (TD-OCT). Methods In a prospective, comparative, observational casecontrol study, 50 eyes of 25 non-glaucoma and 22 eyes of 11 patients with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) were included. SD-OCT and TD-OCT circle scans were centered on the optic disc. In each eye, OCT scans were performed three times by two independent observers. RNFL thickness was measured in four quadrants around the optic disc. In addition, the overall mean RNFL thickness was assessed. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and coefficients of variation (COV) were calculated. Inter-observer and inter-OCT repeatability was visualized by using Bland-Altman analysis. Results Intra-observer repeatability for TD- OCT was good with an ICC mean RNFL thickness of 0.939 in non-glaucomas and 0.980 in glaucomatous eyes. For SD-OCT, intraobserver repeatability was higher with an ICC of 0.989 for non-glaucomas and 0.997 for glaucomatous eyes. COVs for TD-OCT ranged from 2.9-7.7% in non-glaucomas and from 6.0-13.3% in glaucoma patients. COVs for SD-OCT ranged from 0.3-1% in non-glaucomas and from 0.9-2.3% in glaucomatous eyes. COVs were influenced by various factors. In the glaucoma group, COVs were significantly higher (p<0.001) compared to the non-glaucoma group. COVs increased by a mean of 5.1% when TD-OCT was used instead of SD-OCT (p<0.001). Conclusions SD-OCT RNFL thickness measurements in healthy volunteers and glaucoma patients showed good intra- and inter-observer repeatability. Especially in glaucomatous eyes, repeatability of SD-OCT was superior to TD-OCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-287
Number of pages9
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Glaucoma
  • OCT
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Retinal nerve fiber layer thickness
  • Spectral-domain OCT
  • Time-domain OCT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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