Artifacts in automatic retinal segmentation using different optical coherence tomography instruments

Andrea Giani, Mario Cigada, Daniel D. Esmaili, Paola Salvetti, Saverio Luccarelli, Ermengarda Marziani, Cristiano Luiselli, Pierfilippo Sabella, Matteo Cereda, Chiara Eandi, Giovanni Staurenghi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare and evaluate artifact errors in automatic inner and outer retinal boundary detection produced by different time-domain and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) instruments. Methods: Normal and pathologic eyes were imaged by six different OCT devices. For each instrument, standard analysis protocols were used for macular thickness evaluation. Error frequencies, defined as the percentage of examinations affected by at least one error in retinal segmentation (EF-exam) and the percentage of total errors per total B-scans, were assessed for each instrument. In addition, inner versus outer retinal boundary delimitation and central (1,000 μm) versus noncentral location of errors were studied. Results: The study population of the EF-exam for all instruments was 25.8%. The EF-exam of normal eyes was 6.9%, whereas in all pathologic eyes, it was 32.7% (P <0.0001). The EF-exam was highest in eyes with macular holes, 83.3%, followed by epiretinal membrane with cystoid macular edema, 66.6%, and neovascular age-related macular degeneration, 50.3%. The different OCT instruments produced different EF-exam values (P <0.0001). The Zeiss Stratus produced the highest percentage of total errors per total B-scans compared with the other OCT systems, and this was statistically significant for all devices (P ≤ 0.005) except the Optovue RTvue-100 (P = 0.165). Conclusion: Spectral-domain OCT instruments reduce, but do not eliminate, errors in retinal segmentation. Moreover, accurate segmentation is lower in pathologic eyes compared with normal eyes for all instruments. The important differences in EF among the instruments studied are probably attributable to analysis algorithms used to set retinal inner and outer boundaries. Manual adjustments of retinal segmentations could reduce errors, but it will be important to evaluate interoperator variability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-616
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Artifacts
  • Comparison
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Retinal boundaries
  • Retinal segmentation
  • Spectral domain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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