We demonstrate a novel optical coherence tomography system specifically developed and validated for clinical imaging of retinoblastoma tumors in pediatric patients. The existing treatment options for this malignant tumor of the retina aim at reduction of tumor (re)growth risks, and vision preservation. The choice of optimal treatment strongly depends on skilled and detailed clinical assessment. Due to the limitations of the existing real-time diagnostic tools the patients at risk are periodically monitored with retinal imaging to confirm the absence of new tumor seedings. Three-dimensional visualization of tissue layer and microvasculature at improved axial and lateral resolution of interference-based OCT imaging provides sensitivity for detection of vital tumor tissue concurrent with local treatment. Our METC-approved system accommodates for the range of optical parameters of infants’ eyes, and uses the 1050nm wavelength to access the deeper choroid layers of retina. The prototype is designed for patients in supine position under general anesthesia, where ergonomic handheld module is connected to fiber-based optical setup via umbilical cord. The system conforms to clinical safety requirements, including fully isolated low-voltage electric circuit. Focusing is performed with a mechanically tunable lens, where resolution is 6 µm axially, and varies with focusing at 10-18µm laterally.
We will present optical design, performance limitations, and results of the ongoing clinical study, including the increased OCT diagnostic sensitivity in three dimensions in comparison with the established clinical imaging modalities. We will discuss images of early, active, and treated tumors, as well as follow-up on patients after local and systemic treatments.