In vivo volumetric imaging of human retinal circulation with phase-variance optical coherence tomography

Biomed Opt Express. 2011 Jun 1;2(6):1504-13. doi: 10.1364/BOE.2.001504. Epub 2011 May 11.


We present in vivo volumetric images of human retinal micro-circulation using Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (Fd-OCT) with the phase-variance based motion contrast method. Currently fundus fluorescein angiography (FA) is the standard technique in clinical settings for visualizing blood circulation of the retina. High contrast imaging of retinal vasculature is achieved by injection of a fluorescein dye into the systemic circulation. We previously reported phase-variance optical coherence tomography (pvOCT) as an alternative and non-invasive technique to image human retinal capillaries. In contrast to FA, pvOCT allows not only noninvasive visualization of a two-dimensional retinal perfusion map but also volumetric morphology of retinal microvasculature with high sensitivity. In this paper we report high-speed acquisition at 125 kHz A-scans with pvOCT to reduce motion artifacts and increase the scanning area when compared with previous reports. Two scanning schemes with different sampling densities and scanning areas are evaluated to find optimal parameters for high acquisition speed in vivo imaging. In order to evaluate this technique, we compare pvOCT capillary imaging at 3x3 mm(2) and 1.5x1.5 mm(2) with fundus FA for a normal human subject. Additionally, a volumetric view of retinal capillaries and a stitched image acquired with ten 3x3 mm(2) pvOCT sub-volumes are presented. Visualization of retinal vasculature with pvOCT has potential for diagnosis of retinal vascular diseases.

Keywords: (110.4500) Optical coherence tomography; (120.3890) Medical optics instrumentation; (170.0110) Imaging systems; (170.4470) Ophthalmology.