Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC San Diego

UC San Diego Previously Published Works bannerUC San Diego

OCT-Angiography Face Mask-Associated Artifacts During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Published Web Location
No data is associated with this publication.


Face mask wearing has no significant effects on artifacts or vessel density measurements in optic nerve head (ONH) and macular optical coherence tomography-angiography (OCT-A) scans.


The aim was to assess the difference in area of artifacts observed in optical OCT-A scans with and without face mask wear and to verify if mask wear interferes with OCT-A vessel density measurements.

Subjects and controls

A total of 64 eyes of 10 healthy subjects, 4 ocular hypertensive, 8 glaucoma suspects, and 17 glaucoma patients were included.

Materials and methods

High-density ONH and macula OCT-A scans were obtained in patients with and without surgical masks. Seven different artifacts (motion, decentration, defocus, shadow, segmentation failure, blink, and Z-offset) were quantitatively evaluated by 2 trained graders. The changes in the area (% of scan area) of artifacts, without and with mask wearing, and differences of vessel density were evaluated.


Trends of increasing motion artifact area for the ONH scans [4.23 (-0.52, 8.98) %, P=0.08] and defocus artifact area for the macular scans [1.06 (-0.14, 2.26) %, P=0.08] were found with face mask wear. However, there were no significant differences in the mean % area of any artifacts (P>0.05 for all). Further, the estimated mean difference in vessel density in images acquired without and with masks was not significant for any type of artifact.


Face mask wearing had no significant effect on area of artifacts or vessel density measurements. OCT-A vessel density measurements can be acquired reliably with face mask wear during the pandemic.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Item not freely available? Link broken?
Report a problem accessing this item