Purpose: To evaluate the use of a commercially available, high-resolution, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (HR-OCT) device in the diagnosis of corneal and conjunctival pathologies, with a focus on malignant lesions.
Methods: Eighty-two eyes of 71 patients were enrolled in this prospective case series, including 10 normal eyes, 21 with ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN), 24 with a pterygium or pingueculum, 3 with lymphoma, 18 with pigmented conjunctival lesions (nevus, flat melanosis, or melanoma), and 6 with Salzmann nodular degeneration. Subjects were imaged using photography and HR-OCT (RTVue, Optovue, Fremont, CA). When clinically indicated, surgery was performed and histopathologic specimens were correlated with OCT images.
Results: HR-OCT was useful in differentiating among various lesions based on optical signs. Specifically, in OSSN, HR-OCT findings included epithelial thickening and hyper-reflectivity, whereas pterygia and pinguecula showed a subepithelial mass under thinner epithelium. In lymphoma, a hypo-reflective, homogenous subepithelial mass was observed. Differentiating between pigmented lesions with HR-OCT was more difficult, but certain characteristics could be identified. Eyes with nevi and melanoma both displayed intensely hyper-reflective basal epithelial layers and discrete subepithelial lesions, but could be differentiated by the presence of cysts in nevi and intense shadowing of sublesional tissue in most melanomas.
Conclusion: We found that a commercially available HR-OCT was a useful noninvasive adjunctive tool in the diagnosis of ocular surface lesions.
Keywords: High-resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT); RTVue; lymphoma; melanoma; neoplasia; ocular surface lesions; ocular surface squamous neoplasia; pterygium.
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