Prior to interpreting an OPT B-scan (or set of B-scans), users must first determine if the study is of adequate quality to answer the diagnostic question. Examples of inadequate studies include:
The pathology that needs to be visualized does not appear within the field of the scan
The image quality is not sufficient to see the tissue layers of interest (i.e. media opacity, blink, etc)
The scans are not in the expected anatomic order (i.e. due to eye movements)
In some cases, inadequate images can be corrected by capturing another scan in the same area. However, in other cases, the patient’s eye disease interferes with visualization of the tissues of interest making adequate image quality impossible. Ideally, when choosing between multiple scans of the same tissue area, physicians would have access to information about the above questions so they can select only the best scan(s).
The physician may then choose to view and assess each B-scan in the dataset individually. When assessing OPT B-scans, ophthalmologists often identify normal or expected tissue boundaries first, then proceed to identify abnormal interfaces or structures next. The identification of pathology is both qualitative (i.e. does a structure exist) and quantitative (i.e. how thick is it). If previous scans are present for this patient, the physician may choose to compare the most recent scan data with prior visits. Due to workflow constraints, it may be difficult for B-scan interpretations to happen on the same machine that captures the images. Therefore, remote image assessment, such as image viewing in the examining room with the patient, is optimal.