Towards standardizing retinal optical coherence tomography angiography: a review

Danuta M. Sampson, Adam M. Dubis, Fred K. Chen, Robert J. Zawadzki, David D. Sampson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The visualization and assessment of retinal microvasculature are important in the study, diagnosis, monitoring, and guidance of treatment of ocular and systemic diseases. With the introduction of optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA), it has become possible to visualize the retinal microvasculature volumetrically and without a contrast agent. Many lab-based and commercial clinical instruments, imaging protocols and data analysis methods and metrics, have been applied, often inconsistently, resulting in a confusing picture that represents a major barrier to progress in applying OCTA to reduce the burden of disease. Open data and software sharing, and cross-comparison and pooling of data from different studies are rare. These inabilities have impeded building the large databases of annotated OCTA images of healthy and diseased retinas that are necessary to study and define characteristics of specific conditions. This paper addresses the steps needed to standardize OCTA imaging of the human retina to address these limitations. Through review of the OCTA literature, we identify issues and inconsistencies and propose minimum standards for imaging protocols, data analysis methods, metrics, reporting of findings, and clinical practice and, where this is not possible, we identify areas that require further investigation. We hope that this paper will encourage the unification of imaging protocols in OCTA, promote transparency in the process of data collection, analysis, and reporting, and facilitate increasing the impact of OCTA on retinal healthcare delivery and life science investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number63
JournalLight: Science and Applications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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