Segmenting OCT for detecting drug efficacy in CRAO

Thomas R. Shearer, Thomas S. Hwang, Peter N. Steinkamp, Mitsuyoshi Azuma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose Thinning of the inner layers of the retina occurs in patients with central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO). The mechanism for such thinning may be partially due to proteolysis by a calcium-activated protease called calpain. Calpain inhibitor SNJ-1945 ameliorated the proteolysis in a past series of model experiments. The purposes of the present retrospective study were to: 1) use segmentation analysis of optical coherence tomography (OCT) images to mathematically model the loss of specific retinal layers in CRAO patients, and 2) predict the number of patients and days of observation needed for clinical trials of inhibitors against CRAO. Methods A retrospective case control study was conducted by computer-aided search for CRAO (ICD10 H43.1) with at least one OCT procedure (CPT: 92134) in the OHSU Epic patient data base. Results After initial swelling, thinning of the inner retinal layers, especially the ganglion cell (GCL) layer followed exponential decay curves. Using sample size statistics and GCL thickness as a marker in a 30-day clinical trial, 19 eyes/group could theoretically detect a 20% beneficial effect of an inhibitor against CRAO. Other markers, such as the whole retinal thickness and combined inner layers could also be used as less-specific markers. Conclusions Using thickness changes in the GCL layer to monitor the efficacy of potential inhibitors against CRAO is practical in human trials requiring a reasonable number of patients and relatively short trial period. Translational relevance Measurement of GCL thickness would be a useful indicator of CRAO progression in a clinical trial of putative inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0242920
JournalPloS one
Issue number12 December
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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