OCT a good AMD screening tool

June 13, 2007

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an effective screening tool for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an effective screening tool for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to the results of a study published in the May issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

James Talks and colleagues from the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, carried out a retrospective audit of a consecutive series of 134 new patients referred with suspected wet AMD. If visual acuity (VA) was 6/60, an OCT was performed and if the OCT was consistent with wet AMD, the patient underwent simultaneous fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA) and indocyanine green angiography (ICGA). The number of additional diagnoses made using ICGA were recorded.

Twenty-three (17.16%) of the 134 patients had OCT only and were not found to have wet AMD. FFA and ICGA were performed in 111 patients, with 90 patients (81%) showing wet AMD.

OCT had a sensitivity, in this clinic, of 1 and a specificity of 0.65 for detecting wet AMD. ICGA provided additional diagnoses in 19 (14.17%) patients and detected specific vascular abnormalities in 58% of the occult lesions.

Although ICGA can provide an additional diagnosis it does not define vascular abnormalities in all occult cases. OCT, however, has proved to be an effective method of screening wet AMD.