Optical coherence tomography

Semin Ophthalmol. 1998 Dec;13(4):199-202. doi: 10.3109/08820539809056053.


The optical coherence tomograph is a new, noninvasive technical device that can obtain cross-sectional, high-resolution images-optical coherence tomographs (OCT)-of the retina. This instrument permits an accurate evaluation of various macular and chorioretinal pathologies and the early detection of glaucomatous damage. Images of the retina are obtained similar to ultrasound B-scan, with 10-microm longitudinal resolution. Because the OCT operates with a near-infrared wavelength (about 840 nm), the examination is of minimal discomfort for the patient. OCT examination is indicated in cases of macular pathologies such as vitreoretinal interface syndrome, in the early detection and quantitative assessment of macular edema, and in the evaluation of a glaucomatous damage by measuring the retinal nerve fiber layer thickness. The future role of this instrument and its applications for clinical diagnosis depend on the future improvement and updating of the software.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Retina / anatomy & histology*
  • Retinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Tomography / methods*