Measurements of depolarization distribution in the healthy human macula by polarization sensitive OCT

J Biophotonics. 2009 Jul;2(6-7):426-34. doi: 10.1002/jbio.200910031.


Polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) allows for depth resolved imaging of polarization properties of retinal structures. Different layers in the retina can be distinguished not only based on their reflectivity but also due to their birefringent, depolarizing or polarization preserving character. In contrast to other structures in the posterior segment, the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is depolarizing, i.e., it scrambles the polarization state of light. A spectral domain (SD) PS-OCT system was used to record 3D data sets of the retina. The depolarizing effect of the RPE was analyzed by quantitative evaluation of the spatial depolarization distribution in the macula regions of healthy eyes. Depolarization in the RPE is most pronounced close to the center of the fovea and decreases with eccentricity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macula Lutea / anatomy & histology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*