To measure the retardation distribution of the optic retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) from a single image, we have developed a new polarization analysis system that is able to detect the Stokes vector using a fundus camera. The polarization analysis system is constructed with a CCD area image sensor, a linear polarizing plate, a microphase plate array, and a circularly polarized light illumination unit. In this system, the Stokes vector expressing the whole state of polarization is detected, and the influence of the background scattering in the retina and of the retardation caused by the cornea are numerically eliminated. The measurement method is based on the hypothesis that the retardation process of the eye optics can be quantified by a numerical equation that consists of a retardation matrix of all the polarization components. We show the method and the measurement results for normal eyes. Our results indicate that the present method may provide a useful means for the evaluation of retardation distribution of the RNFL.
The thickness measurement of the optic nerve fiber layer is one of the most important evaluations for carrying out glaucoma diagnosis. Because the optic nerve fiber layer has birefringence, the thickness can be measured by illuminating eye optics with circular polarized light and analyzing the elliptical rate of the detected polarized light reflected from the optic nerve fiber layer. In this method, the scattering light from the background and the retardation caused by the cornea disturbs the precise measurement.
If the Stokes vector expressing the whole state of polarization can be detected, we can eliminate numerically the influence of the background scattering and of the retardation caused by the cornea. Because the retardation process of the eye optics can be represented by a numerical equation using the retardation matrix of each component and also the nonpolarized background scattering light, it can be calculated by using the Stokes vector.
We applied a polarization analysis system that can detect the Stokes vector onto the fundus camera. The polarization analysis system is constructed with a CCD area image sensor, a linear polarizing plate, a micro phase plate array, and a circularly polarized light illumination unit. With this simply constructed system, we can calculate the retardation caused only by the optic nerve fiber layer and it can predict the thickness of the optic nerve fiber layer. We report the method and the results graphically showing the retardation of the optic nerve fiber layer without the retardation of the cornea.
We present three dimensional (3D) imaging of macular diseases and glaucoma with high speed, Fourier domain optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT). Our FD-OCT system allows video rate cross-sectional imaging with 98 dB sensitivity and 4.3 μm depth-resolution in tissue. This performance results in high contrast sectional images that enhance visualization of fine retinal layers including external limiting membrane and of deep structure such as the choroid and optic nerve. Volume rendering of 3D OCT data set taken for 3.5 seconds provides realistic 3D images of macular, optic disc and their pathologic changes. This manuscript will show the methods for three dimensional FD-OCT including a raster scanning protocol for volume rendering and cancellation of the motion artifact of eye balls, and the application of the high contrast three dimensional OCT imaging to macular diseases and glaucoma in clinical examination.