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Detailed Vascular Anatomy of the Human Retina by Projection-Resolved Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography

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      Abstract

      Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) is a noninvasive method of 3D imaging of the retinal and choroidal circulations. However, vascular depth discrimination is limited by superficial vessels projecting flow signal artifact onto deeper layers. The projection-resolved (PR) OCTA algorithm improves depth resolution by removing projection artifact while retaining in-situ flow signal from real blood vessels in deeper layers. This novel technology allowed us to study the normal retinal vasculature in vivo with better depth resolution than previously possible. Our investigation in normal human volunteers revealed the presence of 2 to 4 distinct vascular plexuses in the retina, depending on location relative to the optic disc and fovea. The vascular pattern in these retinal plexuses and interconnecting layers are consistent with previous histologic studies. Based on these data, we propose an improved system of nomenclature and segmentation boundaries for detailed 3-dimensional retinal vascular anatomy by OCTA. This could serve as a basis for future investigation of both normal retinal anatomy, as well as vascular malformations, nonperfusion, and neovascularization.

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      Most cited references 34

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      Split-spectrum amplitude-decorrelation angiography with optical coherence tomography

      Amplitude decorrelation measurement is sensitive to transverse flow and immune to phase noise in comparison to Doppler and other phase-based approaches. However, the high axial resolution of OCT makes it very sensitive to the pulsatile bulk motion noise in the axial direction. To overcome this limitation, we developed split-spectrum amplitude-decorrelation angiography (SSADA) to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of flow detection. The full OCT spectrum was split into several narrower bands. Inter-B-scan decorrelation was computed using the spectral bands separately and then averaged. The SSADA algorithm was tested on in vivo images of the human macula and optic nerve head. It significantly improved both SNR for flow detection and connectivity of microvascular network when compared to other amplitude-decorrelation algorithms.
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        Retinal vascular layers imaged by fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography angiography.

        The retinal vasculature is involved in many ocular diseases that cause visual loss. Although fluorescein angiography is the criterion standard for evaluating the retina vasculature, it has risks of adverse effects and known defects in imaging all the layers of the retinal vasculature. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiography can image vessels based on flow characteristics and may provide improved information.
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          IMAGE ARTIFACTS IN OPTICAL COHERENCE TOMOGRAPHY ANGIOGRAPHY.

          To describe image artifacts of optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiography and their underlying causative mechanisms. To establish a common vocabulary for the artifacts observed.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health & Science University , 3375 SW Terwilliger Blvd, Portland, OR 97239 USA
            Author notes
            [*]

            These authors contributed equally to this work.

            Journal
            Sci Rep
            Sci Rep
            Scientific Reports
            Nature Publishing Group
            2045-2322
            10 February 2017
            2017
            : 7
            28186181 5301488 srep42201 10.1038/srep42201
            Copyright © 2017, The Author(s)

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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