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Polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography in the human eye

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      Abstract

      Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has become a well established imaging tool in ophthalmology. The unprecedented depth resolution that is provided by this technique yields valuable information on different ocular tissues ranging from the anterior to the posterior eye segment. Polarization sensitive OCT (PS-OCT) extends the concept of OCT and utilizes the information that is carried by polarized light to obtain additional information on the tissue. Several structures in the eye (e.g. cornea, retinal nerve fiber layer, retinal pigment epithelium) alter the polarization state of the light and show therefore a tissue specific contrast in PS-OCT images. First this review outlines the basic concepts of polarization changing light–tissue interactions and gives a short introduction in PS-OCT instruments for ophthalmic imaging. In a second part a variety of different applications of this technique are presented in ocular imaging that are ranging from the anterior to the posterior eye segment. Finally the benefits of the method for imaging different diseases as, e.g., age related macula degeneration (AMD) or glaucoma is demonstrated.

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      Most cited references 158

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      Optical coherence tomography.

      A technique called optical coherence tomography (OCT) has been developed for noninvasive cross-sectional imaging in biological systems. OCT uses low-coherence interferometry to produce a two-dimensional image of optical scattering from internal tissue microstructures in a way that is analogous to ultrasonic pulse-echo imaging. OCT has longitudinal and lateral spatial resolutions of a few micrometers and can detect reflected signals as small as approximately 10(-10) of the incident optical power. Tomographic imaging is demonstrated in vitro in the peripapillary area of the retina and in the coronary artery, two clinically relevant examples that are representative of transparent and turbid media, respectively.
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        Number of people with glaucoma worldwide.

         H Quigley (1996)
        To estimate the prevalence of glaucoma among people worldwide. Available published data on glaucoma prevalence were reviewed to determine the relation of open angle and angle closure glaucoma with age in people of European, African, and Asian origin. A comparison was made with estimated world population data for the year 2000. The number of people with primary glaucoma in the world by the year 2000 is estimated at nearly 66.8 million, with 6.7 million suffering from bilateral blindness. In developed countries, fewer than 50% of those with glaucoma are aware of their disease. In the developing world, the rate of known disease is even lower. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of vision loss in the world. Improved methods of screening and therapy for glaucoma are urgently needed.
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          Primary open-angle glaucoma.

          Primary open-angle glaucoma is a progressive optic neuropathy and, perhaps, the most common form of glaucoma. Because the disease is treatable, and because the visual impairment caused by glaucoma is irreversible, early detection is essential. Early diagnosis depends on examination of the optic disc, retinal nerve fibre layer, and visual field. New imaging and psychophysical tests can improve both detection and monitoring of the progression of the disease. Recently completed long-term clinical trials provide convincing evidence that lowering intraocular pressure prevents progression at both the early and late stages of the disease. The degree of protection is related to the degree to which intraocular pressure is lowered. Improvements in therapy consist of more effective and better-tolerated drugs to lower intraocular pressure, and more effective surgical procedures. New treatments to directly treat and protect the retinal ganglion cells that are damaged in glaucoma are also in development.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [a ]Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringerstr. 13, 1090 Vienna, Austria
            [b ]Department of Ophthalmology and Optometry, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
            Author notes
            []Corresponding author. Tel.: +431427760728; fax: +43142779607. michael.pircher@ 123456meduniwien.ac.at
            Contributors
            Journal
            Prog Retin Eye Res
            Prog Retin Eye Res
            Progress in Retinal and Eye Research
            Pergamon
            1350-9462
            1873-1635
            November 2011
            November 2011
            : 30
            : 6
            : 431-451
            3205186
            21729763
            JPRR456
            10.1016/j.preteyeres.2011.06.003
            © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

            This document may be redistributed and reused, subject to certain conditions.

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