UK Biobank retinal imaging grading: methodology, baseline characteristics and findings for common ocular diseases

Alasdair N. Warwick, Katie Curran, Kelsey Stuart, Anthony P. Khawaja, Paul J. Foster, Andrew J. Lotery, Michael Quinn, Savita Madhusudhan, Konstantinos Balaskas, Tunde Peto, UKBB Eye and Vision Consortium

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Abstract

Background/objectives: This study aims to describe the grading methods and baseline characteristics for UK Biobank (UKBB) participants who underwent retinal imaging in 2009–2010, and to characterise individuals with retinal features suggestive of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma and retinopathy.

Methods: Non-mydriatic colour fundus photographs and macular optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans were manually graded by Central Administrative Research Facility certified graders and quality assured by clinicians of the Network of Ophthalmic Reading Centres UK. Captured retinal features included those associated with AMD (≥1 drusen, pigmentary changes, geographic atrophy or exudative AMD; either imaging modality), glaucoma (≥0.7 cup-disc ratio, ≥0.2 cup-disc ratio difference between eyes, other abnormal disc features; photographs only) and retinopathy (characteristic features of diabetic retinopathy with or without microaneurysms; either imaging modality). Suspected cases of these conditions were characterised with reference to diagnostic records, physical and biochemical measurements.

Results: Among 68,514 UKBB participants who underwent retinal imaging, the mean age was 57.3 years (standard deviation 8.2), 45.7% were men and 90.6% were of White ethnicity. A total of 64,367 participants had gradable colour fundus photographs and 68,281 had gradable OCT scans in at least one eye. Retinal features suggestive of AMD and glaucoma were identified in 15,176 and 2184 participants, of whom 125 (0.8%) and 188 (8.6%), respectively, had a recorded diagnosis. Of 264 participants identified to have retinopathy with microaneurysms, 251 (95.1%) had either diabetes or hypertension.

Conclusions: This dataset represents a valuable addition to what is currently available in UKBB, providing important insights to both ocular and systemic health.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEye
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2022

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