Optic nerve head measurements with optical coherence tomography: A phantom-based study reveals differences among clinical devices

Anant Agrawal, Jigesh Baxi, William Calhoun, Chieh Li Chen, Hiroshi Ishikawa, Joel S. Schuman, Gadi Wollstein, Daniel X. Hammer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) can monitor for glaucoma by measuring dimensions of the optic nerve head (ONH) cup and disc. Multiple clinical studies have shown that different OCT devices yield different estimates of retinal dimensions. We developed phantoms mimicking ONH morphology as a new way to compare ONH measurements from different clinical OCT devices. METHODS. Three phantoms were fabricated to model the ONH: One normal and two with glaucomatous anatomies. Phantoms were scanned with Stratus, RTVue, and Cirrus clinical devices, and with a laboratory OCT system as a reference. We analyzed device-reported ONH measurements of cup-to-disc ratio (CDR) and cup volume and compared them with offline measurements done manually and with a custom software algorithm, respectively. RESULTS. The mean absolute difference between clinical devices with device-reported measurements versus offline measurements was 0.082 vs. 0.013 for CDR and 0.044 mm3 vs. 0.019 mm3 for cup volume. Statistically significant differences between devices were present for 16 of 18 comparisons of device-reported measurements from the phantoms. Offline Cirrus measurements tended to be significantly different from those from Stratus and RTVue. CONCLUSIONS. The interdevice differences in CDR and cup volume are primarily caused by the devices’ proprietary ONH analysis algorithms. The three devices yield more similar ONH measurements when a consistent offline analysis technique is applied. Scan pattern on the ONH also may be a factor in the measurement differences. This phantom-based study has provided unique insights into characteristics of OCT measurements of the ONH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)OCT413-OCT420
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2016


  • Optic nerve head
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Phantom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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