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Spatio-Temporal Optical Coherence Tomography provides advanced imaging of the human retina and choroid

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posted on 2023-01-10, 02:20 authored by Egidijus Auksorius, Dawid Borycki, Piotr Wegrzyn, Bartosz L. Sikorski, Ieva Zickiene, Kamil Lizewski, Mounika Rapolu, Karolis Adomavicius, Slawomir Tomczewski, Maciej Wojtkowski
One of the greatest needs in modern ophthalmology is access to the eye choroid in vivo. Without it, it is difficult to introduce new therapies and to understand most of the pathological changes in the eye, because of the total blood flow in the eye is caused by the choroidal circulation. It is entirely responsible for the metabolism of photoreceptors, which each of us feels every day and senses when its deficits begin. Optical selection of choroid and choriocapillaris by currently used imaging techniques such as indocyanine angiography, scanning laser ophthalmoscopy or optical coherence tomography (OCT) is limited by insufficient lateral resolution, depth of penetration and the presence of strong light scattering effects. Here we report a Spatio-Temporal Optical Coherence Tomography (STOC-T) that maintains microscopic quality of in vivo reconstructions of anatomical layers when imaging chorioretinal cross-sections in a coronal anatomic plane. STOC-T performs high definition volumetric imaging in all projections, enabling reconstruction of anatomical details of the retinal and choroidal layers with unprecedented quality by using an extra phase randomization for low spatial coherence. We also demonstrate that STOC-T can detect blood flow and reveal vascular networks in various chorioretinal layers that are otherwise invisible to OCT. This capability highlights the unique value of STOC-T angiography. These technical advances enable acquisition of detailed choroidal structures, such as Satller layer and choriocapillaris, that are usually buried behind speckle noise and blurred by eye motion artifacts in conventional OCT. By imaging the retina and choroid with high contrast, we were able to perform detailed morphometric analysis, which is the basis for the anticipated clinical utility of the method in monitoring disease progression and therapeutic responses of the eye.

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