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Accuracy of the Heidelberg Spectralis in the Alignment Between Near-Infrared Image and Tomographic Scan in a Model Eye: A Multicenter Study

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To evaluate temporal changes and predictors of accuracy in the alignment between simultaneous near-infrared image and optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan on the Heidelberg Spectralis using a model eye.


Laboratory investigation.


After calibrating the device, 6 sites performed weekly testing of the alignment for 12 weeks using a model eye. The maximum error was compared with multiple variables to evaluate predictors of inaccurate alignment. Variables included the number of weekly scanned patients, total number of OCT scans and B-scans performed, room temperature and its variation, and working time of the scanning laser. A 4-week extension study was subsequently performed to analyze short-term changes in the alignment.


The average maximum error in the alignment was 15 ± 6 μm; the greatest error was 35 μm. The error increased significantly at week 1 (P = .01), specifically after the second imaging study (P < .05); reached a maximum after the eighth patient (P < .001); and then varied randomly over time. Predictors for inaccurate alignment were temperature variation and scans per patient (P < .001). For each 1 unit of increase in temperature variation, the estimated increase in maximum error was 1.26 μm. For the average number of scans per patient, each increase of 1 unit increased the error by 0.34 μm.


Overall, the accuracy of the Heidelberg Spectralis was excellent. The greatest error happened in the first week after calibration, and specifically after the second imaging study. To improve the accuracy, room temperature should be kept stable and unnecessary scans should be avoided. The alignment of the device does not need to be checked on a regular basis in the clinical setting, but it should be checked after every other patient for more precise research purposes.

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