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Petr Soukup, Peter Maloca, Bernd Altmann, Matthias Festag, Elke-Astrid Atzpodien, Simon Pot; Interspecies Variation of Outer Retina and Choriocapillaris Imaged With Optical Coherence Tomography. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(10):3332-3342. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-26257.
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The purpose of this study is to assess with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) the interspecies variation of outer retinal morphology and identification of choriocapillaris in four research animal species.
Spectralis HRA+OCT images acquired from locations dorsal, central, and ventral to the optic disc in healthy, anesthetized animals were evaluated by two independent readers. First, the number of OCT B-scans on which a choriocapillaris layer could clearly be identified was determined and quantified, and B-scans were correlated with histology. Second, B-scans demonstrating the highest number of discernable individual outer retinal bands (ORBs) were defined as ideal presentation and quantified. Interrater agreement was evaluated.
Five-hundred seventy-four B-scans from 96 subjects were evaluated. The choriocapillaris layer was identified in 100.0% of minipig, 70.8% of rabbit, 75.4% of pigmented rat, 77.7% of albino rat, 56.5% of pigmented mouse, and 50.8% of albino mouse OCT scans. The percentage of ideal ORB presentation in B-scans was 11.7% in minipigs, 73.8% in rabbits, and 80.0%, 91.0%, 28.5%, and 62.5% in pigmented rats and mice and albino rats and mice, respectively. The interrater evaluation for both attributes showed substantial to perfect agreement in all species.
The choriocapillaris is an easy and valid marker for identification of the outer retinal margin. ORB presentation likely varies due to differences in retinal anatomy and pigmentation between animal species and strains and between anatomic locations. Proper and consistent outer retinal margin and ORB identification are essential for research result reproducibility and translation.
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