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Olga G. Shilova, Svetlana Filippova, Mikhail Shilov, Igor Zapuskalov; Evaluation of Vascular System of the Retina Using ImageJ Software. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):1281.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To study the capabilities of ImageJ software (National Institute of Health, USA) for the evaluation of retinal vasculature in patients with various grades diabetic retinopathy (DR).
This study included the analysis of data obtained from 243 patients with DR due to type II diabetes mellitus, aged 42-67 years. Fundus images were obtained on fundus camera (Carl Zeiss-Jena, Germany) and subsequently processed to the computer. ImageJ was used to perform calibrometry of microvessels of the retina to analyze the following parameters: linear thickness of the vessels (caliber of first- and second-order arteries and veins), mean optical vessel density to differentiate arteries and veins, and changes in the vessel structure. Data from a group of 32 patients with type II diabetes without retinopathy, aged 40-55 years, were used as a control for statistical analysis.
The findings varied depending on the stage of retinopathy. First-order vein caliber became larger as the retinopathy advanced. Grades are given according to International Clinical DR scale (Mean±St.Dev.): DR2/grade 2 - 194.5±14.0 µm; DR2/grade 3 - 207.7±16.6 µm (no difference as compared to grade 2, p=0.19); DR3/grade 4 - 244.7±17.3 µm (significantly different, as compared to both grades 2 and 3, p<0.02). Second-order veins showed similar dynamics. Both first- and second-order arteries narrowed as the retinopathy progressed: grade 2 - 86.7±12.3 µm; grade 3 - 83.9±13.8 µm; grade 4 - 81.2±11.3 µm (differences are not significant, p>0.05). Caliber of the second-order arteries was the following: grade 2 - 65.5±11.1 µm (p=0.01 as compared to grade 3; p=0.008 as compared to grade 4); grade 3 - 38.4±9.8 µm; grade 4 - 36.0±11.3 µm. No difference between grades 3 and 4 was found. All three values of the second-order arteries were significantly different from the control group (p<0.05).
ImageJ software is an effective objective way of detailed quantitative evaluation of retinal vasculature. It allowed establishing strong correlation between the grade of the DR and disturbance to the retinal vessels. This is a valuable clinical and research tool to study retinal vascular bed in diabetes or other retinal vascular diseases.
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