Purpose: To compare retinal vascular parameters acquired by handheld swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography (SS-OCTA) between nonsedated preterm and full-term infants.
Methods: Preterm and full-term infants at the University of Washington Medical Center were enrolled. Retinal angiograms (nominal size ∼7 × 7 mm2) were obtained at each routine retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) screening session for preterms and once during the first 72 hours of life for full-terms. Macular vessel area density and nonperfusion area were evaluated on the binarized vasculature map in both small (1.5 × 1.5 mm) and large (3 × 3 mm) quadrants. Average vessel diameter and tortuosity values were obtained from each large vessel branch (length >200 µm). All vascular analyses used previously published algorithms.
Results: Handheld SS-OCTA captured 31 of 55 (56%) high-quality volumes on 8 awake preterm infants (gestational age 28 ± 4 weeks, birth weight 891 ± 314 g, postmenstrual age at first imaging session 37 ± 2 weeks) and 48 of 54 (89%) volumes on 12 awake full-term infants (gestational age 39 ± 1 weeks, birth weight 3405 ± 329 g). Signal-to-noise ratio was 5.08 ± 1.52 dB in preterm and 4.90 ± 1.12 dB in full-term infants. Preterm infants had higher mean large vessel tortuosity compared to full-term infants (P = 0.004). The large nasal quadrant vessel area density of infants with stage 3 and/or pre-plus or worse ROP was higher than other preterm infants (P = 0.007).
Conclusions: Although inadequate image quality limited usable imaging sessions, handheld SS-OCTA achieved adequate signal-to-noise ratio in nonsedated infants for quantitative retinal vascular parameter analysis.
Translational Relevance: Large- and small-vessel parameters were associated with prematurity and ROP severity, respectively.