How to measure nerve damage using the eye

Schippling S, Balk L, Costello F, Albrecht P, Balcer L, Calabresi P, Frederiksen J, Frohman E, Green A, Klistorner A, Outteryck O, Paul F, Plant G, Traber G, Vermersch P, Villoslada P, Wolf S, Petzold A. Quality control for retinal OCT in multiple sclerosis: validation of the OSCAR-IB criteria. Mult Scler. 2014 Jun 16. pii: 1352458514538110. [Epub ahead of print]

BACKGROUND:Retinal optical coherence tomography (OCT) permits quantification of retinal layer atrophy relevant to assessment of neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis (MS). Measurement artefacts may limit the use of OCT to MS research.
OBJECTIVE:An expert task force convened with the aim to provide guidance on the use of validated quality control (QC) criteria for the use of OCT in MS research and clinical trials.
METHODS:A prospective multi-centre (n = 13) study. Peripapillary ring scan QC rating of an OCT training set (n = 50) was followed by a test set (n = 50). Inter-rater agreement was calculated using kappa statistics. Results were discussed at a round table after the assessment had taken place.
RESULTS:The inter-rater QC agreement was substantial (kappa = 0.7). Disagreement was found highest for judging signal strength (kappa = 0.40). Future steps to resolve these issues were discussed.
CONCLUSION:Substantial agreement for QC assessment was achieved with aid of the OSCAR-IB criteria. The task force has developed a website for free online training and QC certification. The criteria may prove useful for future research and trials in MS using OCT as a secondary outcome measure in a multi-centre setting.

OCT is a technique for measuring retinal nerve loss. It may be a loose surrogate of what may be happening in the brain So a group of Optic Neuros got together to see how to do it. There was general agreement. You can read here about OSCAR-1B (click) or even go to the website

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  • Team G – please educate your fellow neuros to take this finding into consideration as a dignostic tool – it's the best biomarker we've got so far (to my knowledge)!

    Also, where I live you can only get OCT prescribed for eye diseases, otherwise it's ca. 150 euros – it should be free for MSers as well but this needs lobbying.

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