December 1994

Micrometer-Scale Resolution Imaging of the Anterior Eye In Vivo With Optical Coherence Tomography

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (Drs Izatt, Huang, and Fujimoto and Mr Hee); Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lexington (Mr Swanson); and the New England Eye Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass (Drs Lin, Schuman, and Puliafito). Drs Puliafito and Fujimoto are consultants for Humphrey Instruments, San Leandro, Calif.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1994;112(12):1584-1589. doi:10.1001/archopht.1994.01090240090031

Objective:  To demonstrate a new diagnostic technique, optical coherence tomography, for highresolution 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 μm) 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.