Histologic correlation of in vivo optical coherence tomography images of the human retina

Am J Ophthalmol. 2006 Jun;141(6):1165-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2006.01.086.


Purpose: To correlate in vivo human retina optical coherence tomography (OCT)3 images with histology.

Design: Case series.

Methods: Linear OCT3 scans through the macula and optic nerve were obtained in three eyes of three patients who then underwent exenteration surgery for orbital cancers. OCT3 images were then correlated with histology.

Results: On histology, two eyes were normal, and one eye had dry macular degeneration. The plexiform layers on histology correlated with the green/yellow areas on the OCT3 scans, and the nuclear layers correlated with the black areas on the OCT3 scans.

Conclusions: The authors are unaware of previous reports correlating histology to in vivo human retina OCT3 images. Our findings using human eyes are not different from previous animal studies, in that the plexiform layers are optically highly backscattering and the nuclear layers are not.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological*
  • Eye Enucleation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / pathology*
  • Male
  • Orbital Neoplasms / surgery
  • Retina / pathology*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*