BACKGROUND/AIMS: The primary objective is to quantify the lens nuclear opacity using swept-source anterior segment optical coherence tomography (SS-ASOCT) and to evaluate its correlations with Lens Opacities Classification System III (LOCS-III) system and surgical parameters. The secondary objective is to assess the diagnostic performance for hard nuclear cataract.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 1222 patients eligible for cataract surgery (1222 eyes). The latest SS-ASOCT (CASIA-2) was used to obtain high-resolution lens images, and the average nuclear density (AND) and maximum nuclear density (MND) were measured by a custom ImageJ software. Spearman's correlations analysis was used to assess associations of AND/MND with LOCS-III nuclear scores, visual acuity and surgical parameters. The subjects were then split randomly (9:1) into the training dataset and validating dataset. Receiver operating characteristic curves and calibration curves were constructed for the classification on hard nuclear cataract.
RESULTS: The AND and MND from SS-ASOCT images were significantly correlated with nuclear colour scores (AND: r=0.716; MND: r=0.660; p<0.001) and nuclear opalescence scores (AND: r=0.712; MND: r=0.655; p<0.001). The AND by SS-ASOCT images had the highest values of Spearman's r for preoperative corrected distance visual acuity (r=0.3131), total ultrasonic time (r=0.3481) and cumulative dissipated energy (r=0.4265). The nuclear density had good performance in classifying hard nuclear cataract, with area under the curves of 0.859 (0.831-0.886) for AND and 0.796 (0.768-0.823) for MND.
CONCLUSION: Objective and quantitative evaluation of the lens nuclear density using SS-ASOCT images enable accurate diagnosis of hard nuclear cataract.