Bern Photographic Reading Center
Within the last four years Bern Photographic Reading Center (BPRC) has become an
internationally renowned center for coordination and independent evaluation of
images obtained in clinical multicenter trials.
Retinal diseases like exudative age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) or diabetic
retinopathy are at the focus of attention in many recent studies on novel therapies. In
these studies patients are examined by state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging devices
(specialized stereo fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, optical coherence
For examination of large groups of patients studies are held in many centers (=eye
clinics and practice) around the globe (= multicenter study). The BPRC cooperates
with the centers and clinics where patients are treated and examined.
A reading center has to be independent for unbiased and objective evaluation of
images. The BPRC fulfils the high standards of the European Vision Institutes /
Clinical Trials / Sites of Excellence (EVI.CT.SE, CS Nr. 20) and the principles of
Good Clinical Practice (ICH-GCP).
To ensure high imaging quality and to compare quality standards among the clinical
sites BPRC offers certification and real-time teaching for investigators and
photographers. This also ensures high quality standards for each study.
All images acquired in studies is collected by the BPRC and transferred by the
administrative staff into a digital data base.
A team of graders analyzes each image regarding endpoints that are specific to the
study. The graders perform the “grading”, the actual evaluation of the patient’s state
according to defined criteria. This “grading” procedure is objective, independent and
blinded. All patient data are processed in coded manner and without personal details.
„Grading“ results of the BPRC are then forwarded to statistical analysis and
discussion of study results. BPRC is available for consultations with study designees,
monitors and coordinators. We ensure quick data management and smooth data
Our internal quality control makes us consistently reconsider our work and optimizes
our working steps. The BPRC staff receives steady teaching for being up-to-date in
ophthalmologic and general health issues.