Fluorescein angiography-based diagnosis for retinopathy of prematurity: Expert-non expert comparison

Rosanna Guagliano, Donatella Barillà, Chiara Bertone, Anna Maffia, Francesca Periti, Laura Spallone, Giovanni Anselmetti, Elisabetta Giacosa, Mauro Stronati, Carmine Tinelli, Paolo Emilio Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To evaluate accuracy and inter-rater reliability of RetCam fundus images and digital camera fluorangioscopic images in acute retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) by comparing diagnoses given by trainee ophthalmologists with those provided by expert ophthalmologists. Methods: This is a multicenter retrospective observational study of diagnostic data from 48 eyes of 24 premature infants with classical ROP, stage II, as evaluated by RetCam 3 and fluorescein angiography (FA). Average gestational age was 25.4 weeks, average weight 804.7 g. A staging grid (with ocular fun-dus divided into 3 concentric zones) and 24 15° sectors centered around the optic papilla were superimposed on 360° retina photomontages (Photoshop) made from RetCam and FA images. Non expert vs expert diagnosis agreement was measured for each sector by means of Cohen kappa (Fleiss, 1981). Results: A high degree of concordance was found. Inter-rater agreement between expert and non expert interpretations of retinal photomontages was greater for fluorangiographic images than for RetCam images, with κ = 0.61-1 for 120/152 (78.9%) sectors examined on the RetCam images and κ = 0.61-1 for 168/198 (84.8%) sectors examined on the FA images. Conclusions: The FA images appear to be easier to interpret than RetCam images, both by expert and non expert ophthalmologists. The results confirm that FA is a good examination technique with a high degree of reliability, even where trainee practitioners are involved. This suggests that retinopathy management can be improved by entrusting diagnostic responsibilities to trainee ophthalmologists, in order to extend access to correct diagnosis, recognition of threshold lesions, and prompt treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-886
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 27 2013


  • Fluorescein angiography
  • RetCam 3
  • Retinopathy of prematurity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Medicine(all)


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