To diagnose certain macular diseases earlier and monitor their therapy more sensitively, we are developing a noninvasive method to measure the retinal thickness. The new instrument, which is an extension of slit-lamp biomicroscopy, was used to obtain the data, which were analyzed with an algorithm to yield thickness measurements. The measurements performed in monkeys indicated that the retinal thickness can be visualized in a region extending from the optic disc to the fovea and that quantitative results can be obtained. The retinal thickness reproducibility was 6% for the same location on the same day, 15% for the same location on different days, and 12% for the same location in different eyes. The average retinal thickness in these areas was 335 microns, indicating that the reproducibility was between 20 and 50 microns. Measurements across the foveola illustrated that retinal thicknesses as low as 80 microns could be obtained.