Multifunctional adaptive optics optical coherence tomography allows cellular scale reflectometry, polarimetry, and angiography in the living human eye
preprintposted on 2023-09-07, 17:32 authored by Kazuhiro Kurokawa, Morgan Nemeth
Clinicians are unable to detect glaucoma until substantial loss or dysfunction of retinal ganglion cells occurs. To this end, novel measures are needed. We have developed an optical imaging solution based on adaptive optics optical coherence tomography (AO-OCT) to discern key clinical features of glaucoma and other neurodegenerative diseases at the cellular scale in the living eye. Here, we test the feasibility of measuring AO-OCT-based reflectance, retardance, optic axis orientation, and angiogram at specifically targeted locations in the living human retina and optic nerve head. Multifunctional imaging, combined with focus stacking and global image registration algorithms, allows us to visualize cellular details of retinal nerve fiber bundles, ganglion cell layer somas, glial septa, capillaries, and connective tissues. These are key histologic features of neurodegenerative diseases, including glaucoma, that are now able to examine in vivo with excellent repeatability and reproducibility. Incorporating this noninvasive cellular-scale imaging with objective measurements will significantly enhance existing clinical assessments, which is pivotal in facilitating the early detection of eye disease and understanding the mechanisms of neurodegeneration.