Quantitative assessment of diabetic macular edema with Optical Coherence Tomography

M. R. Hee, C. A. Puliafito, J. S. Duker, E. Reichel, J. G. Coker, J. R. Wilkins, J. S. Schuman, E. A. Swanson, J. G. Fujimoto

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Purpose. To evaluate Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), a new technique for cross-sectional imaging of the retina, for the quantitative assessment of retinal thickness and detection of macular edema in patients with diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. Methods. OCT was used to examine 72 eyes with the clinical diagnosis of non-proliferative or proliferative diabetic retinopathy, 34 eyes in diabetic patients who had no evidence of retinopathy, and 59 healthy control eyes. Six linear OCT images consisting of 100 A-scans each were obtained at equally spaced angular orientations in a radial spoke pattern centered on the fovea. Measurements of retinal thickness were extracted directly from the tomograms using a computer algorithm. Measurements were reported directly in the central fovea and as averages in 9 regions covering the macula. Results. The mean±SD central foveal thickness measured by OCT was 146±22 μm in healthy eyes and 150±24 μm in diabetic eyes without evidence of retinopathy. In patients with diabetic retinopathy, OCT could objectively monitor the development and resolution of macular edema following treatment with 10 μm precision. In these patients, the central foveal thickness was 172±35 μm in the 49 eyes without macular edema as assessed by slit-lamp biomicroscopy, and 339±101 μm in the 23 eyes with macular edema. Central foveal thickness correlated with best corrected visual acuity in eyes with nonischemic retinopathy. Conclusions. OCT is useful for objectively monitoring retinal thickness with high resolution in patients with diabetic macular edema and is more sensitive to macular thickening than slit-lamp biomicroscopy. OCT has potential as a new diagnostic for the early detection of macular thickening in diabetic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S956
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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