In vivo functional imaging of intrinsic scattering changes in the human retina with high-speed ultrahigh resolution OCT

Opt Express. 2009 Mar 2;17(5):3861-77. doi: 10.1364/oe.17.003861.


Non-invasive methods of probing retinal function are of interest for the early detection of retinal disease. While retinal function is traditionally directly measured with the electroretinogram (ERG), recently functional optical imaging of the retina has been demonstrated. In this manuscript, stimulus-induced, intrinsic optical scattering changes in the human retina are measured in vivo with high-speed, ultrahigh resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT) operating at 50,000 axial scans per second and ~3.3 micron axial resolution. A stimulus and measurement protocol that enables measurement of functional OCT retinal signals is described. OCT signal changes in the photoreceptors are demonstrated. Two distinct responses having different temporal and spatial properties are reported. These results are discussed in the context of optical intrinsic signals measured previously in the retina by fundus imaging and scanning laser ophthalmoscopy. Finally, challenges associated with in vivo functional retinal imaging in human subjects are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biometry
  • Electroretinography
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Optical Phenomena
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate / physiology
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate / radiation effects
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Retina / radiation effects
  • Retinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Retinal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Scattering, Radiation
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / instrumentation
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*