Quantitative Noninvasive Angiography of the Fovea Centralis Using Speckle Variance Optical Coherence Tomography

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015 Aug;56(9):5074-86. doi: 10.1167/iovs.15-16773.


Purpose: To demonstrate the utility of speckle variance optical coherence tomography (svOCT), a noninvasive angiographic technique, for evaluating the foveal vasculature.

Methods: Twelve normal human eyes were imaged with svOCT (1060-nm, 100-kHz custom-built system) and fluorescein angiography (FA; Topcon TRC-50DX with 5.0 megapixel resolution camera). Manual tracing techniques were used to quantify the foveal vasculature, including foveal avascular zone (FAZ) metrics (area, perimeter, greatest diameter, and lowest diameter). Reproducibility of these measurements was determined. The FAZ was imaged in 25 normal eyes using svOCT and 15 donor eyes using confocal scanning laser microscopy. Retinal capillary plexuses in donor eyes were perfusion-labeled with phalloidin conjugated to Alexa Fluor 546.

Results: Speckle variance OCT is able to stratify the foveal circulation into inner and deep capillary plexuses as well as reliably quantify and assess the morphometric dimensions of the human FAZ. Capillary density measurements were significantly greater in svOCT than FA (31.2 ± 1.6% vs. 19.3 ± 1.9% of total tissue area; P < 0.001). Measurements were highly reproducible (all P > 0.366). All FAZ metrics were significantly lower in histology than svOCT (all P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Speckle variance OCT permits precise, reproducible, and noninvasive visualization of the human foveal vasculature. Speckle variance OCT may become an important adjunct in evaluating patients with retinal vascular diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography / methods*
  • Fovea Centralis / blood supply*
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retinal Vessels / cytology*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*