In vivo optical biopsy of the human retina using optical coherence tomography

W. Drexler, R. K. Ghanta, J. S. Schuman, T. Ko, U. Morgner, F. X. Kärtner, J. G. Fujimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Using state of the art laser technology, third generation ophthalmologic optical coherence tomography (OCT) has been developed which enables ultrahigh resolution, non-invasive in vivo imaging of retinal morphology with an unprecedented axial resolution of 3 μm. This represents a quantum leap in performance over the 10-15 μm resolution currently available in ophthalmic OCT systems and, to our knowledge, is the highest resolution in vivo ophthalmologic imaging achieved to date. This resolution enables optical biopsy, i.e. the in vivo visualization of intraretinal architectural morphology which had previously only been possible with histopathology. Image processing and segmentation techniques are demonstrated for automatic identification and quantification of retinal morphology. Ultrahigh resolution ophthalmic OCT has the potential to enhance the sensitivity and specificity for early diagnosis of several ocular diseases, e.g. glaucoma, which requires precise imaging and measurement of retinal nerve fiber layer thickness, as well as improve monitoring of disease progression and efficacy of therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-187
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2001
EventCoherence Domain Optical Methods in Biomedical Science and Clinical Applications V - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 23 2001Jan 24 2001


  • Ophthalmology
  • Optical biopsy
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Retinal imaging
  • Ti:AlO laser

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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