Comparison of two formulas used to calculate summarized retinal vessel calibers

Rebekka Heitmar, Angelos A. Kalitzeos, Vikramjit Panesar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To compare the Parr-Hubbard and Knudtson formulas to calculate retinal vessel calibers and to examine the effect of omitting vessels on the overall result.

METHODS: We calculated the central retinal arterial equivalent (CRAE) and central retinal venular equivalent (CRVE) according to the formulas described by Parr-Hubbard and Knudtson including the six largest retinal arterioles and venules crossing through a concentric ring segment (measurement zone) around the optic nerve head. Once calculated, we removed one arbitrarily selected artery and one arbitrarily selected vein and recalculated all outcome parameters again for (1) omitting one artery only, (2) omitting one vein only, and (3) omitting one artery and one vein. All parameters were compared against each other.

RESULTS: Both methods showed good correlation (r for CRAE = 0.58; r for CRVE = 0.84), but absolute values for CRAE and CRVE were significantly different from each other when comparing both methods (p < 0.000001): CRAE had higher values for the Parr-Hubbard (165 [±16] μm) method compared with the Knudtson method (148 [±15] μm). In addition, CRAE and CRVE values dropped for both methods when omitting one arbitrarily selected vessel each (all p < 0.000001). Arteriovenous ratio (AVR) calculations showed a similar change for both methods when omitting one vessel each: AVR decreased when omitting one arteriole whereas it increased when omitting one venule. No change, however, was observed for AVR calculated with six or five vessel pairs each.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the absolute value for CRAE and CRVE is changing significantly depending on the number of vessels included, AVR appears to be comparable as long as the same number of arterioles and venules is included.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1085–1091
Number of pages7
JournalOptometry and Vision Science
Issue number11
Early online date18 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • calculation
  • Knudtson
  • Parr-Hubbard
  • retinal vessel caliber


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