Pupil Dilation May Affect Retinal Vessel Caliber Measures

Jie Jin Wang, Yuan Shi, Jing Xie, Ava G. Tan, Lauren A.B. Hogdson, Sharon Lee, Meredith Wickens, Victoria F. Cosatto, Kristina Kairaitis, Richard Lindley, Lyndell L. Lim, Paul Mitchell, John R. Wheatley, Terence C. Amis

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To assess the effect of pupil dilation on measures of retinal vessel caliber. Design: Observational study with self-comparisons Methods: Retinal photographs were taken for both eyes of 25 subjects before and after pupil dilation. Three photographic graders, masked to pupil dilation status, measured the same set of images using a computer-assisted, semi-automatic method. We compared means (standard deviations) of retinal arteriolar caliber equivalent (CRAE) and retinal venular caliber equivalent (CRVE) of the same eyes between pre- and post-dilation images. We assessed concordance correlation coefficients (CC), Bland Altman limits-of-agreements, and used linear mixed models to assess CRAE and CRVE measures associated with pupil dilation (influencing image quality), graders (observers) and right-left eye variation. Results: We found high CCs for CRAE (0.82-0.94) and CRVE (0.87-0.94) between pre- and post-dilation images of the same eyes across the graders. Bland Altman plots showed that mean differences ranged from 0.55-3.42μm for CRAE and 1.56-2.29μm for CRVE. After adjusting for right-left eye random variation, a significant fixed effect of dilation was evident in mean CRAE in two of the three graders. There was no significant fixed effect of dilation in mean CRVE across all graders. In models including data of both eyes’ measures from pre- and post-dilation images by three graders, the fixed effect for dilation status contributed significantly to CRAE and CRVE variances whereas random effects for graders and dilation status contributed minimally. Conclusions: Contrary to our hypothesis, we found a systematic effect of pupil dilation on retinal vessel caliber measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-237
Number of pages4
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Before and after comparison
  • pupil dilation
  • retina
  • retinal image
  • vessel caliber

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