January 09, 2013
1 min read

OCT plays increasingly important role in assessing neuro-ophthalmic pathology

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Optical coherence tomography promises to enable increasingly accurate in vivo assessment of anatomic changes associated with neuro-ophthalmic pathology, a speaker said here.

OCT is an extremely important new way of looking at anatomy,” Steven A. Newman, MD, said at the Current Concepts in Ophthalmology meeting. “It is important not to oversell this. This is not going to replace psychophysics or electrophysiology, but it is one additional test that we need to do that’s quantitative and objective. It is still subject to artifact, and it is not specific as to etiology. Its role in neuro-ophthalmology and everything else is still evolving.”

However, the technology has limitations, such as manual dependence on centration, media opacities and lack of stability, Newman said.

Neuro-ophthalmic uses of OCT include studying congenital optic neuropathies and optic nerve head drusen, he said.

OCT results correlate better with visual fields in the pupil than with visual acuity measurements, Newman said.

In the future, spectral-domain OCT will center mainly on the macula, Newman said.

“Spectral domain gives us segmentation analysis, and eventually, we’re going to be looking at just the macula, being able to segment retinal nerve fiber layer and ganglion cell layer, all from macular clues. Faster acquisition times will also be helpful,” he said.

Disclosure: Newman has no relevant financial disclosures.