PURPOSE: To examine vascular tortuosity as a function of distance from the optic disk in infants with retinopathy of prematurity.
METHODS: Thirty-four wide-angle retinal images from infants with retinopathy of prematurity were reviewed by 22 experts. A reference standard for each image was defined as the diagnosis (plus vs. not plus) given by the majority of experts. Tortuosity, defined as vessel length divided by straight line distance between vessel end points, was calculated as a function of distance from the disk margin for arteries and veins using computer-based methods developed by the authors.
RESULTS: Mean cumulative tortuosity increased with distance from the disk margin, both in 13 images with plus disease (P = 0.007 for arterial tortuosity [n = 62 arteries], P CONCLUSION: Vascular tortuosity was higher peripherally than centrally, both in images with and without plus disease, suggesting that peripheral retinal features may be relevant for retinopathy of prematurity diagnosis.