Publisher: BMC Ophthalmology (2019) 19:231

Authors: Valentina Sarao, Daniele Veritti, Enrico Borrelli, Srini Vas R. Sadda, Enea Poletti & Paolo Lanzetta

A comparison between a white LED confocal imaging system and a conventional flash fundus camera using chromaticity analysis


Background: Conventional flash fundus cameras capture color images that are oversaturated in the red channel and washed out in the green and blue channels, resulting in a retinal picture that often looks flat and reddish. A white LED confocal device was recently introduced to provide a high-quality retinal image with enhanced color fidelity. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the color rendering properties of the white LED confocal system and compare them to those of a conventional flash fundus camera through chromaticity analysis.

Methods: A white LED confocal device (Eidon, Centervue, Padova, Italy) and a traditional flash fundus camera (TRC-NW8, Topcon Corporation, Tokyo, Japan) were used to capture fundus images. Color images were evaluated with respect to chromaticity. Analysis was performed according to the image color signature. The color signature of an image was defined as the distribution of its pixels in the rgb chromaticity space. The descriptors used for the analysis are the average and variability of the barycenter positions, the average of the variability and the number of unique colors (NUC) of all signatures.

Results: Two hundred thirty-three color photographs were acquired with each retinal camera. The images acquired by the confocal white LED device demonstrated an average barycenter position (rgb = [0.448, 0.328, 0.224]) closer to the center of the chromaticity space, while the conventional fundus camera provides images with a clear shift toward red at the expense of the blue and green channels (rgb = [0.574, 0.278, 0.148] (p < 0.001). The variability of the barycenter positions was higher in the white LED confocal system than in the conventional fundus camera. The average variability of the distributions was higher (0.003 ± 0.007, p < 0.001) in the Eidon images compared to the Topcon camera, indicating a greater richness of color. The NUC percentage was higher for the white LED confocal device than for the conventional flash fundus camera (0.071% versus 0.025%, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Eidon provides more-balanced color images, with a wider richness of color content, compared to a conventional flash fundus camera. The overall higher chromaticity of Eidon may provide benefits in terms of discriminative power and diagnostic accuracy.