Accurate measurements of choroidal thickness (CT) using enhanced-depth imaging optical coherence tomography (EDI-OCT) require a well-defined choroid-scleral junction (CSJ), which may appear in some eyes as a hyporeflective band corresponding to the suprachoroidal layer (SCL).
To identify factors associated with the presence and thickness of the SCL in healthy participants and determine how different CSJ boundary definitions impact CT measurements.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Secondary analysis of EDI-OCT images obtained prospectively from 74 eyes of 74 controls (mean age, 68.6 years) from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 Ancillary SDOCT Study.
Main Outcomes and Measures
The CSJ appearances were categorized as either having no visible SCL or a hyporeflective band corresponding to the SCL. Ocular parameters associated with the presence and thickness of the SCL were identified. Subfoveal CT was measured using 3 different posterior boundaries: (1) the posterior vessel border (vascular CT [VCT]), (2) inner border of the SCL (stromal CT [StCT]), and (3) inner border of the sclera (total CT [TCT]). Manual segmentation using custom software was used to compare VCT, StCT, and TCT across the macula.
The SCL was visible in 33 eyes (44.6%). Factors associated with SCL presence and thickness included hyperopic refractive error (R2 = 0.123; P = .045) and increased TCT (R2 = 0.215; P = .004), but not age, visual acuity, intraocular pressure, retinal foveal thickness, VCT, or StCT. In eyes where the SCL was not visible, mean [SD] subfoveal VCT was 222.3 [101.5] μm and StCT and TCT were 240.0 [99.0] μm, with a difference of 17.7 [16.0] μm (P < .001). In eyes where the SCL was visible, mean [SD] subfoveal VCT, StCT, and TCT were 221.9 [83.1] μm, 257.7 [97.3] μm, and 294.1 [104.8] μm, respectively, with the greatest difference of 72.2 [30.4] μm between VCT and TCT (P < .001). All 3 CT measurements were significantly different along all points up to 3.0 mm nasal and temporal to the fovea.
Conclusions and Relevance
A hyporeflective SCL is visible at the CSJ on EDI-OCT in nearly half of healthy individuals, and its presence correlates with hyperopia. Different posterior boundary definitions may result in significant differences in CT measurements and should be explicitly identified in future choroidal studies and segmentation algorithms.