Purpose: The human retinal vasculature has been demonstrated to exhibit fractal, or statistically self similar properties. Fractal analysis offers a simple quantitative method to characterise the complexity of the branching vessel network in the retina. Several methods have been proposed to quantify the fractal properties of the retina.
Methods: Twenty five healthy volunteers underwent retinal photography, retinal oximetry and ocular biometry. A robust method to evaluate the fractal properties of the retinal vessels is proposed; it consists of manual vessel segmentation and box counting of 50 degree retinal photographs centred on the fovea.
Results: Data is presented on the associations between the fractal properties of the retinal vessels and various functional properties of the retina.
Conclusion Fractal properties of the retina could offer a promising tool to assess the risk and prognostic factors that define retinal disease. Outstanding efforts surround the need to adopt a standardised protocol for assessing the fractal properties of the retina, and further demonstrate its association with disease processes.
2013 European Association for Vision and Eye Research Conference, 18-21 September 2013, Nice, France.