Importance: Accurate diagnosis of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is essential to provide timely treatment and reduce the risk of blindness. However, the components of an ROP examination are subjective and qualitative. Objective: To evaluate whether optical coherence tomography (OCT)-derived retinal thickness measurements at the vascular-avascular junction are associated with clinical diagnosis of ROP stage. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional longitudinal study compared OCT-based ridge thickness calculated from OCT B-scans by a masked examiner to the clinical diagnosis of 2 masked examiners using both traditional stage classifications and a more granular continuous scale at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Hospital. Infants who met ROP screening criteria in the OHSU NICU between June 2021 and April 2022 and had guardian consent were included. One OCT volume and en face image per patient per eye showing at least 1 to 2 clock hours of ridge were included in the final analysis. Main Outcomes and Measures: Comparison of OCT-derived ridge thickness to the clinical diagnosis of ROP stage using an ordinal and continuous scale. Repeatability was assessed using 20 repeated examinations from the same visit and compared using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and coefficient of variation (CV). Comparison of ridge thickness with ordinal categories was performed using generalized estimating equations and with continuous stage using Spearman correlation. Results: A total of 128 separate OCT eye examinations from 50 eyes of 25 patients were analyzed. The ICC was 0.87 with a CV of 7.0%. Higher ordinal disease classification was associated with higher axial ridge thickness on OCT, with mean (SD) thickness measurements of 264.2 (11.2) μm (P <.001), 334.2 (11.4) μm (P <.001), and 495.0 (32.2) μm (P <.001) for stages 1, 2, and 3, respectively and with continuous stage labels (ρ = 0.739, P <.001). Conclusions and Relevance: These results suggest that OCT-based quantification of peripheral stage in ROP may be an objective and quantitative biomarker that may be useful for clinical diagnosis and longitudinal monitoring and may have implications for disease classification in the future..
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