Quantification of Vascular Abnormality with OCT Angiography

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Current OCT techniques are limited in their ability to accurately detect vasculature changes, and patients with retinal vascular diseases often require more invasive intravenous contrast dye-based angiography procedures. The current technology is an OCT-based non-injection, dye-free method that allows for 3D visualization of superimposed structural and angiography data to improve detection of vascular pathologies.

Technology Overview

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has become the standard imaging modality in ophthalmology for evaluating fluid accumulation in retinal vascular diseases and guiding treatment; however, structural OCT has a limited ability to image the retinal or choroidal vasculatures. Furthermore, it is unable to directly detect capillary dropout or pathologic new vessel growth (neovascularization), which are the major vascular changes associated with two of the leading causes of blindness: age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy.

The laboratory of OCT leader Dr. David Huang has developed a novel method to allow for OCT based detection of ocular circulation (see Figure) that offers several advantages over current approaches:

•       Reduced noise and artifacts compared to current OCT angiography methods

•       Improved visualization of easy-to-follow color-coded blood flow and retinal structural information

•       Easier identification of pathologies achieved by the following features:

o       Segmentation of 3D angiograms into individual vascular beds

o       En face OCT angiograms, analogous to traditional angiography

o       Superimposed structural and angiogram images to correlate anatomical alterations with vascular abnormalities

o       Quantification and localization of retinal non-perfusion and choriocapillaris defect areas

•       Less invasive injection- and dye-free method, which also reduces the side-affects associated with imaging fluorophores