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Páll Karlsson

Improved sampling and analysis of images in corneal confocal microscopy

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

DOI

  • E L Schaldemose, Danish Pain Research Center, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
  • ,
  • F I Fontain, Danish Pain Research Center, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
  • ,
  • P Karlsson
  • J R Nyengaard

INTRODUCTION: Corneal confocal microscopy (CCM) is a noninvasive clinical method to analyse and quantify corneal nerve fibres in vivo. Although the CCM technique is in constant progress, there are methodological limitations in terms of sampling of images and objectivity of the nerve quantification. The aim of this study was to present a randomized sampling method of the CCM images and to develop an adjusted area-dependent image analysis. Furthermore, a manual nerve fibre analysis method was compared to a fully automated method.

METHODS: 23 idiopathic small-fibre neuropathy patients were investigated using CCM. Corneal nerve fibre length density (CNFL) and corneal nerve fibre branch density (CNBD) were determined in both a manual and automatic manner. Differences in CNFL and CNBD between (1) the randomized and the most common sampling method, (2) the adjusted and the unadjusted area and (3) the manual and automated quantification method were investigated.

RESULTS: The CNFL values were significantly lower when using the randomized sampling method compared to the most common method (p = 0.01). There was not a statistical significant difference in the CNBD values between the randomized and the most common sampling method (p = 0.85). CNFL and CNBD values were increased when using the adjusted area compared to the standard area. Additionally, the study found a significant increase in the CNFL and CNBD values when using the manual method compared to the automatic method (p ≤ 0.001).

CONCLUSION: The study demonstrated a significant difference in the CNFL values between the randomized and common sampling method indicating the importance of clear guidelines for the image sampling. The increase in CNFL and CNBD values when using the adjusted cornea area is not surprising. The observed increases in both CNFL and CNBD values when using the manual method of nerve quantification compared to the automatic method are consistent with earlier findings. This study underlines the importance of improving the analysis of the CCM images in order to obtain more objective corneal nerve fibre measurements.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Microscopy
Vol/bind268
Nummer1
Sider (fra-til)3-12
Antal sider10
ISSN0022-2720
DOI
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2017

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