In this work we investigate the benefits of using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) in combination with adaptive optics (AO) technology. It has been demonstrated that the contrast of vessels and small capillaries can be greatly enhanced by the use of OCTA. Moreover, small capillaries that are below the transverse resolution of the ophthalmic instrument can be detected. This opens unique opportunities for diagnosing retinal diseases. However, there are some limitations of this technology such as shadowing artifacts caused by overlying vasculature or the inability to determine the true extension of a vessel. Thus, the evaluation of the vascular structure and density can be misleading. To overcome these limitations we applied the OCT angiography technique to images recorded with AO-OCT. Due to the higher collection efficiency of AO-OCT in comparison with standard OCT an increased intensity contrast of vasculature can be seen. Using AO-OCTA the contrast of the vasculature to the surrounding static tissue is further increased. The improved transverse resolution and the reduced depth of focus of the AO-OCT greatly reduce shadowing artifacts allowing for a correct differentiation and segmentation of different vascular layers of the inner retina. The method is investigated in healthy volunteers and in patients with diabetic retinopathy.
Matthias Salas, Marco Augustin, Laurin Ginner, Abhishek Kumar, Bernhard Baumann, Rainer A. Leitgeb, Wolfgang Drexler, Sonja Prager, Julia Hafner, Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth, and Michael Pircher, "Investigation of the benefit of adaptive optics optical coherence tomography angiography for the human retina (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10053, Optical Coherence Tomography and Coherence Domain Optical Methods in Biomedicine XXI, 100530J (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 30, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254768.5371723134001.
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