Automatic retinal oximetry

Sveinn Hakon Hardarson, Alon Harris, Robert Arnar Karlsson, Gisli Hreinn Halldorsson, Larry Kagemann, Ehud Rechtman, Gunnar Már Zoega, Thor Eysteinsson, Jon Atli Benediktsson, Adalbjorn Thorsteinsson, Peter Koch Jensen, James Beach, Einar Stefánsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

208 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To measure hemoglobin oxygen saturation (SO2) in retinal vessels and to test the reproducibility and sensitivity of an automatic spectrophotometric oximeter. METHODS. Specialized software automatically identifies the retinal blood vessels on fundus images, which are obtained with four different wavelengths of light. The software calculates optical density ratios (ODRs) for each vessel. The reproducibility was evaluated by analyzing five repeated measurements of the same vessels. A linear relationship between SO2 and ODR was assumed and a linear model derived. After calibration, reproducibility and sensitivity were calculated in terms of SO 2. Systemic hyperoxia (n = 16) was induced in healthy volunteers by changing the O2 concentration in inhaled air from 21% to 100%. RESULTS. The automatic software enhanced reproducibility, and the mean SD for repeated measurements was 3.7% for arterioles and 5.3% venules, in terms of percentage of SO2 (five repeats, 10 individuals). The model derived for calibration was SO2 = 125 - 142 · ODR. The arterial SO2 measured 96% ±9% (mean ± SD) during normoxia and 101% ± 8% during hyperoxia (n = 16). The difference between normoxia and hyperoxia was significant (P = 0.0027, paired t-test). Corresponding numbers for venules were 55% ± 14% and 78% ± 15% (P < 0.0001). SO 2 is displayed as a pseudocolor map drawn on fundus images. CONCLUSIONS. The retinal oximeter is reliable, easy to use, and sensitive to changes in SO2 when concentration of O2 in inhaled air is changed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5011-5016
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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    Hardarson, S. H., Harris, A., Karlsson, R. A., Halldorsson, G. H., Kagemann, L., Rechtman, E., Zoega, G. M., Eysteinsson, T., Benediktsson, J. A., Thorsteinsson, A., Jensen, P. K., Beach, J., & Stefánsson, E. (2006). Automatic retinal oximetry. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 47(11), 5011-5016.