Validity and reproducibility of retinal arteriole and venule diameter measurements: ELSA-Brasil study. A cross-sectional study.

Research paper by William Jones WJ Dartora, Marcelo Krieger MK Maestri, Maria Inês MI Schmidt, Bruce Bartholow BB Duncan, Lloyd L Chambless, Ronald R Klein, Stacy S Meuer, Vivian Cristine VC Luft

Indexed on: 12 Oct '18Published on: 12 Oct '18Published in: Sao Paulo medical journal = Revista paulista de medicina


Investigation of alterations to retinal microvasculature may contribute towards understanding the role of such changes in the pathophysiology of several chronic non-communicable diseases. The objective here was to evaluate the validity and reproducibility of retinal arteriole and venule diameter measurements made by Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil) graders. Cross-sectional study at six teaching and research institutions. To evaluate validity, each of 25 retinal images from the University of Wisconsin (gold standard) was measured by five ELSA-Brasil graders. To evaluate reproducibility, 105 images across the spectrum of vessel diameters were selected from 12,257 retinal images that had been obtained between 2010 and 2012, and each image was reexamined by the same grader and by an independent grader. All measurements were made using the Interactive Vessel Analysis (IVAN) software. Bland-Altman plots, paired t tests and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were analyzed. Mean differences between ELSA-Brasil and gold-standard readings were 0.16 µm (95% CI -0.17-0.50; P = 0.31) for central retinal artery equivalent (CRAE), -0.21 µm (95% CI -0.56-0.14; P = 0.22) for central retinal vein equivalent (CRVE) and 0.0005 (95% CI -0.008-0.009; P = 0.55) for arteriole/venule ratio (AVR). Intragrader ICCs were 0.77 (95% CI 0.67-0.86) for CRAE, 0.90 (95% CI 0.780.96) for CRVE and 0.70 (0.55-0.83) for AVR. Intergrader ICCs were 0.75 (95% CI 0.64-0.85) for CRAE, 0.90 (95% CI 0.79-0.96) for CRVE and 0.68 (95% CI 0.55-0.82) for AVR. Retinal microvascular diameter measurements are valid and present moderate to high intra and intergrader reproducibility in ELSA-Brasil.