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James C. H. Tan, Roger A. Hitchings; Reference Plane Definition and Reproducibility in Optic Nerve Head Images. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(3):1132-1137. doi: 10.1167/iovs.02-0039.
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purpose. To describe and evaluate a new experimental reference plane for measuring rim area in scanning laser tomography.
methods. The experimental reference plane was positioned so that (1) it always lay entirely below the margin of the optic nerve head (ONH), (2) it remained at a set z-axis distance below the ONH in images of each eye, and (3) it was at a level where variability in rim area is least. Twenty normal control subjects and 20 patients with glaucoma underwent test-retest scanning laser tomographic imaging by same and different operators during same and separate visits. Control subjects had image series spanning at least 3 years. The effect of the positioning of the reference plane on global and regional rim area variability was assessed in intra- and intervisit test-retest images and longitudinal image series and compared with the standard and 320-μm reference planes.
results. Variability in the experimental reference plane was less in test-retest images and longitudinal data (P < 0.05) and more uniform around the ONH than with other reference planes. Variability in the former was not appreciably affected by testing involving different operators and visits, or by the presence of glaucoma.
conclusions. Variability in rim area by the experimental reference plane was significantly less, more uniform around the ONH, not affected by different operators and visits, and less affected by glaucomatous morphology than other reference planes. This difference was pronounced in sequential data and has implications for detecting progression of glaucoma.
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