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Nayuta Yoshioka, Barbara Zangerl, Lisa Nivison-Smith, Sieu K. Khuu, Bryan W. Jones, Rebecca L. Pfeiffer, Robert E. Marc, Michael Kalloniatis; Pattern Recognition Analysis of Age-Related Retinal Ganglion Cell Signatures in the Human Eye. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(7):3086-3099. doi: 10.1167/iovs.17-21450.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To characterize macular ganglion cell layer (GCL) changes with age and provide a framework to assess changes in ocular disease. This study used data clustering to analyze macular GCL patterns from optical coherence tomography (OCT) in a large cohort of subjects without ocular disease.
Single eyes of 201 patients evaluated at the Centre for Eye Health (Sydney, Australia) were retrospectively enrolled (age range, 20–85); 8 × 8 grid locations obtained from Spectralis OCT macular scans were analyzed with unsupervised classification into statistically separable classes sharing common GCL thickness and change with age. The resulting classes and gridwise data were fitted with linear and segmented linear regression curves. Additionally, normalized data were analyzed to determine regression as a percentage. Accuracy of each model was examined through comparison of predicted 50-year-old equivalent macular GCL thickness for the entire cohort to a true 50-year-old reference cohort.
Pattern recognition clustered GCL thickness across the macula into five to eight spatially concentric classes. F-test demonstrated segmented linear regression to be the most appropriate model for macular GCL change. The pattern recognition–derived and normalized model revealed less difference between the predicted macular GCL thickness and the reference cohort (average ± SD 0.19 ± 0.92 and −0.30 ± 0.61 μm) than a gridwise model (average ± SD 0.62 ± 1.43 μm).
Pattern recognition successfully identified statistically separable macular areas that undergo a segmented linear reduction with age. This regression model better predicted macular GCL thickness. The various unique spatial patterns revealed by pattern recognition combined with core GCL thickness data provide a framework to analyze GCL loss in ocular disease.
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