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Sao Paulo Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 1516-3180On-line version ISSN 1806-9460


DARTORA, William Jones et al. Validity and reproducibility of retinal arteriole and venule diameter measurements: ELSA-Brasil study. A cross-sectional study. Sao Paulo Med. J. [online]. 2018, vol.136, n.4, pp.276-286. ISSN 1516-3180.


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.

Keywords : Microvessels; Retinal artery; Retinal vein; Reproducibility of results.

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