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CORC // Coimbra Ophthalmology Reading Centre

The Coimbra Ophthalmology Reading Center (CORC) focus its activities in grading fundus images and OCT images of the retina, as well as functional evaluations of the retina using mfERG.

It serves as central Reading Center for a series of clinical trials, mainly in Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

CORC is also the central Reading Center for the Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Programme of the Central Region of Portugal since 2011.

CORC has dedicated staff composed by the CORC Director, a Management Team involving Project Managers, Grading Supervisors and an Administrative Coordinator, a Grading Team of 25 graders (15 medical graders, 4 orthoptist graders and 6 technical graders) and a Secretariat Team involving general secretariat and study coordinators.


Quality System

CORC is certified, since 2013, according to the international standard ISO 9001 - Requirements of a Quality Management System for the activity of Grading of Eye Exams.

CORC activities are performed in accordance with internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which are elaborated in compliance with the ICH Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice (ICH-GCP) and ISO 9001.


Information Technology Systems

CORC has a secure custom-designed web based tool to transmit images between Clinical Sites and CORC.

For grading purposes CORC uses licensed software from the equipment suppliers, such as Cirrus HD-OCT (Carl Zeiss Meditec), Heidelberg Eye Explorer (Heidelberg Engineering), RETIsystem (Roland Consult), Topcon 3D-OCT (Topcon Coorporation), etc.

For research purposes CORC also has novel software programmes, developed in-house, to reliably quantify neovascularization of the retina and leakage, assess microaneurysm turnover in diabetic patients (RetmarkerDR® product), classify and quantify AMD lesions and disease activity in patients with AMD (RetmarkerAMD Research product) and perform segmentation of the retinal layers and quantify cystoid-like spaces on OCT.


Summary - Main Grading Activities

Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)

  • CFP: ETDRS/DR Grading; Automated microaneurysm assessment (RetmarkerDR®); Screening DR
  • CFP/FA: Classification/quantification of DR characteristics, including proliferative DR and diabetic macular edema; High-risk Proliferative DR assessment; Quantification of neovascularization, capillary closure and leakage
  • OCT: Retinal Thickness; Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness; Ganglion Cell Layer Thickness; Presence and location of key features for DR; Segmentation analysis of the retinal layers; Quantification of cysts
  • mfERG: Amplitude/Implicit time of P1 & Z-score analysis

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

  • CFP/FA/ICG: Classification/quantification of ARM/AMD lesions (RetmarkerAMD Research); Classification/quantification of Polipoydal Choroidal Vasculopathy / AMD characteristics
  • OCT: Retinal Thickness; Presence and location of key features for AMD

(CFP – Color Fundus Photography; FA – Fluorescein Angiography; ICG - Indocyanine Green Angiography; mfERG – multifocal Electroretinography; OCT – Optical Coherence Tomography.)


  • Grading of ophthalmic exams for characterization and quantification of ophthalmic disease

               Grading of fundus images
               Grading OCT
               Grading mfERG

  • Project management and acquisition and grading protocol development
  • Technicians training and certification
  • Equipment certification
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