To determine intrasession and intersession repeatability of retinal vessel oxygen saturation from the Oxymap Retinal Oximeter using a whole image–based analysis technique and so determine optimal analysis parameters to reduce variability.
Ten fundus oximetry images were acquired through dilated pupils from 18 healthy participants (aged 22 to 38) using the Oxymap Retinal Oximeter T1. A further 10 images were obtained 1 to 2 weeks later from each individual. Analysis was undertaken for subsets of images to determine the number of images needed to return a stable coefficient of variation (CoV). Intrasession and intersession variability were quantified by evaluating the CoV and establishing the 95% limits of agreement using Bland and Altman analysis. Retinal oxygenation was derived from the distribution of oxygenation values from all vessels of a given width in an image or set of images, as described by Paul et al. in 2013.
Grouped in 10-μm-wide bins, oxygen saturation varied significantly for both arteries and veins (p < 0.01). Between 110 and 150 μm, arteries had the least variability between individuals, with average CoVs less than 5% whose confidence intervals did not overlap with the greater than 10% average CoVs for veins across the same range. Bland and Altman analysis showed that there was no bias within or between recording sessions and that the 95% limits of agreement were generally lower in arteries.
Retinal vessel oxygen saturation measurements show variability within and between clinical sessions when the whole image is used, which we believe more accurately reflects the true variability in Oxymap images than previous studies on select image segments. Averaging data from vessels 100 to 150 μm in width may help to minimize such variability.