Effects of scan circle displacement in optical coherence tomography retinal nerve fibre layer thickness measurement : a RNFL modelling study

C. Y.L. Cheung, Ka Fai Cedric Yiu, R. N. Weinreb, D. Lin, H. Li, A. Y. Yung, C. P. Pang, D. S.C. Lam, C. K.S. Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To study the effect of optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan circle displacement on retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) measurement errors using cubic spline models.MethodsForty-nine normal subjects were included in the analysis. In one randomly selected eye in each subject, RNFL thickness around the optic disc was measured by taking 16 circular scans of different sizes (scan radius ranged from 1 to 2.5 mm). The RNFL profile in each eye was constructed with a mathematical model using a smoothing spline approximation. Scan circle (diameter 3.4 mm) RNFL measurements (total average, superior, nasal, inferior, and temporal RNFL thicknesses) obtained from eight directions (superior, superonasal, nasal, inferonasal, inferior, inferotemporal, temporal, and superotemporal) displaced at different distances (0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, and 0.7 mm) from the disc centre were then computed by a computer program and compared to the reference standard where the scan circle is centred at the optic disc. RNFL measurement error was calculated as the absolute of (RNFL thickness (displaced) - RNFL thickness (reference standard)).ResultsThe respective mean average, superior, nasal, inferior, and temporal RNFL measurement errors were 2.32.0, 4.94.5, 4.13.8, 6.27.6, and 3.83.5 m upon 0.1 mm scan circle displacement, and 12.111.4, 27.818.4, 21.718.6, 34.822.9, and 15.210.7 m upon 0.7 mm scan circle displacement. Significant differences of average and quadrant RNFL thicknesses were evident between centred and displaced scan circle measurements (all with P0.001). RNFL measurement error increased in a monotonic fashion with increasing distance away from the disc and the change was direction-dependent.ConclusionsRNFL measurement error varies with the direction and distance of scan displacement. The superior and the inferior RNFL measurements are most vulnerable to scan displacement errors, whereas the average RNFL thickness is the least susceptible. Obtaining a well-centred scan is essential for reliable RNFL measurement in OCT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1436-1441
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • 3D RNFL profile
  • Cubic spline model
  • OCT
  • RNFL
  • RNFL measurement error
  • Scan circle displacement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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