Micrometer-scale resolution imaging of the anterior eye in vivo with optical coherence tomography

Arch Ophthalmol. 1994 Dec;112(12):1584-9. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1994.01090240090031.


Objective: To demonstrate a new diagnostic technique, optical coherence tomography, for high-resolution cross-sectional imaging of structures in the anterior segment of the human eye in vivo. Optical coherence tomography is a new, noninvasive, noncontact optical imaging modality that has spatial resolution superior to that of conventional clinical ultrasonography (< 20 microns) and high sensitivity (dynamic range, > 90 dB).

Design: Survey of intraocular structure and dimension measurements.

Setting: Laboratory.

Patients: Convenience sample.

Main outcome measures: Correlation with range of accepted normal intraocular structure profiles and dimensions.

Results: Direct in vivo measurements with micrometer-scale resolution were performed of corneal thickness and surface profile (including visualization of the corneal epithelium), anterior chamber depth and angle, and iris thickness and surface profile. Dense nuclear cataracts were successfully imaged through their full thickness in a cold cataract model in calf eyes in vitro.

Conclusions: Optical coherence tomography has potential as a diagnostic tool for applications in noncontact biometry, anterior chamber angle assessment, identification and monitoring of intraocular masses and tumors, and elucidation of abnormalities of the cornea, iris, and crystalline lens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Chamber / anatomy & histology*
  • Anterior Chamber / diagnostic imaging
  • Fiber Optic Technology
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Interferometry
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography / methods*
  • Ultrasonography