Optical coherence tomography is a useful tool in the differentiation between true edema and pseudoedema of the optic disc

Arturo Carta, Paolo Mora, Raffaella Aldigeri, Fabrizio Gozzi, Stefania Favilla, Salvatore Tedesco, Giacomo Calzetti, Roberta Farci, Piero Barboni, Stefania Bianchi-Marzoli, Maurizio Fossarello, Stefano Gandolfi, Alfredo A. Sadun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose To assess the usefulness of spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness measurement in discriminating early phase optic disc edema (ODE) from pseudoedema (PODE). Methods Hospital-based, multicenter, cross-sectional study involving external patients referred for recent identification of “presumed ODE”. Patients underwent SD-OCT optic nerve head (ONH) RNFL thickness measurement at their first evaluation. In 155 of these, the causative etiology was subsequently ascertained and the respective eyes (one per patient) were assigned to the ODE (95 eyes) or PODE (60 eyes) group. Admission SD-OCT data were retrieved and used for the analysis. ROC curve analysis was used to calculate specificity, sensitivity and predictive value (PV) of the RNFL values. Results The PODE group was significantly younger than the ODE group (p = 0.007). The average and any single-quadrant RNFL thickness was significantly higher in the ODE group compared with the PODE and control groups. The average and the inferior quadrant thicknesses tested the most powerful parameters to differentiate ODE from PODE. A cutoff value of 110 μm for the average area, or of 150 μm for the inferior quadrant was associated with maximal sensitivity and specificity with positive PV greater than 80%. Conclusions The SD-OCT evaluation of the peripapillary RNFL achieved good specificity, sensitivity and positive PV in discriminating between ODE and PODE. Despite the correct differential diagnosis between these categories still relies on a careful medical history taking and other ancillary testing, we proved the usefulness of SD-OCT RNFL measurement in supporting the diagnostic process.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0208145
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Optical coherence tomography is a useful tool in the differentiation between true edema and pseudoedema of the optic disc'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this