Anterior-segment imaging for assessment of glaucoma

Expert Rev Ophthalmol. 2010 Feb 1;5(1):59-74. doi: 10.1586/eop.09.61.


This article summarizes the physics, technology and clinical application of ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) for assessment of the anterior segment in glaucoma. UBM systems use frequencies ranging from approximately 35 to 80 MHz, as compared with typical 10-MHz systems used for general-purpose ophthalmic imaging. OCT systems use low-coherence, near-infrared light to provide detailed images of anterior segment structures at resolutions exceeding that of UBM. Both technologies allow visualization of the iridocorneal angle and, thus, can contribute to the diagnosis and management of glaucoma. OCT systems are advantageous, being noncontact proceedures and providing finer resolution than UBM, but UBM systems are superior for the visualization of retroiridal structures, including the ciliary body, posterior chamber and zonules, which can provide crucial diagnostic information for the assessment of glaucoma.