Anterior segment optical coherence tomography and ultrasound biomicroscopy in the imaging of anterior segment tumors

Am J Ophthalmol. 2009 Feb;147(2):214-219.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2008.08.023. Epub 2008 Oct 18.


Purpose: To evaluate the utility of anterior segment optical coherence tomography (OCT) in the imaging of anterior segment tumors and compare the images to ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM).

Design: Prospective observational case series.

Methods: Eighteen eyes of 18 patients with anterior segment tumors were evaluated at Princess Margaret Hospital. The evaluation included clinical examination, clinical photography, anterior segment OCT, and UBM. Comparison of images obtained by both methods was done.

Results: Anterior segment OCT imaged small hypopigmented tumors with complete penetration. Cysts were incompletely imaged behind the iris pigment epithelium. Highly pigmented tumors, large tumors, and ciliary body tumors were incompletely penetrated. Even without complete penetration it was possible to differentiate cystic lesions from solid lesions. UBM penetrated all tumors completely.

Conclusions: Anterior segment OCT can penetrate small hypopigmented tumors and supply some information on internal characteristics of other tumors. UBM is preferable for clinical anterior tumor assessment and follow-up because of its superior ability to penetrate large tumors, highly pigmented tumors, and ciliary body tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Eye Segment / diagnostic imaging
  • Anterior Eye Segment / pathology
  • Ciliary Body / diagnostic imaging
  • Ciliary Body / pathology*
  • Cysts / diagnosis
  • Cysts / diagnostic imaging
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological*
  • Humans
  • Iris Diseases / diagnosis
  • Iris Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Iris Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Iris Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Microscopy, Acoustic / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*
  • Uveal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Uveal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Uveal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uveal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging