Optical coherence tomography for the monitoring of neovascular age-related macular degeneration: a systematic review

Mayret M. Castillo, Graeme Mowatt, Andrew Elders, Noemi Lois, Cynthia Fraser, Rodolfo Hernandez, Winfried Amoaku, Jennifer M. Burr, Andrew Lotery, Craig R. Ramsay, Augusto Azuara-Blanco*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Topic: To compare the accuracy of optical coherence tomography (OCT) with alternative tests for monitoring neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and detecting disease activity among eyes previously treated for this condition.
Clinical Relevance: Traditionally, fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA) has been considered the reference standard to detect nAMD activity, but FFA is costly and invasive. Replacement of FFA by OCT can be justified if there is a substantial agreement between tests.
Methods: Systematic review and meta-analysis. The index test was OCT. The comparator tests were visual acuity, clinical evaluation (slit lamp), Amsler chart, color fundus photographs, infrared reflectance, red-free images and blue reflectance, fundus autofluorescence imaging, indocyanine green angiography (ICGA), preferential hyperacuity perimetry, and microperimetry. We searched the following databases: MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process, EMBASE, Biosis, Science Citation Index, the Cochrane Library, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, MEDION, and the Health Technology Assessment database. The last literature search was conducted in March 2013. We used the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 (QUADAS-2) to assess risk of bias.
Results: We included 8 studies involving more than 400 participants. Seven reported the performance of OCT (3 time-domain [TD] OCT, 3 spectral-domain [SD] OCT, 1 both types) and 1 reported the performance of ICGA in the detection of nAMD activity. We did not find studies directly comparing tests in the same population. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of TD OCT and SD OCT for detecting active nAMD was 85% (95% confidence interval [CI], 72%-93%) and 48% (95% CI, 30%-67%), respectively. One study reported ICGA with sensitivity of 75.9% and specificity of 88.0% for the detection of active nAMD. Half of the studies were considered to have a high risk of bias.
Conclusions: There is substantial disagreement between OCT and FFA findings in detecting active disease in patients with nAMD who are being monitored. Both methods may be needed to monitor patients comprehensively with nAMD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-406
Number of pages8
JournalOphthalmology: Journal of The American Academy of Ophthalmology
Issue number2
Early online date21 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • optical coherence tomography
  • nAMD
  • disease detection
  • systematic review


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