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Proceedings Paper

In vivo depth-resolved birefringence measurements of the human retinal nerve fiber layer using polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography
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Paper Abstract

Changes in retinal nerve fiber layer thickness and birefringence may both precede clinically detectable glaucomatous vision loss. Early detection of retinal nerve fiber layer changes may enable treatment to prevent permanent loss of vision. Polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) can provide objective information on retinal nerve fiber layer thickness and birefringence. PS-OCT scans around the optic nerve head (ONH) of two healthy young volunteers were made using 10 concentric circles of increasing radius. Both the mean retinal nerve fiber layer thickness and mean retinal nerve fiber birefringence for each of 48 sectors on a circle were determined with data analysis. Birefringence of healthy RNFL is constant as a function of scan radius but varies as a function of position around the ONH, with higher values occurring superior and inferior to the ONH. Measured double pass phase retardation per unit depth values around the ONH range between 0.10 and 0.35 °/μm, equivalent to birefringence values of 1.2•10-4 and 4.1•10-4 respectively, measured at a wavelength of 840 nm. Consequently, conversion of phase retardation measurements (as obtained with scanning laser polarimetry) to RNFL thickness measurements, assuming a constant birefringence value, will yield thickness values that are incorrect.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5316, Coherence Domain Optical Methods and Optical Coherence Tomography in Biomedicine VIII, (1 July 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.528352
Show Author Affiliations
Barry Cense, Wellman Labs. of Photomedicine, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)
Teresa C. Chen, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (United States)
Harvard Medical School (United States)
B. Hyle Park, Wellman Labs. of Photomedicine, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)
Mark C. Pierce, Wellman Labs. of Photomedicine, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)
Johannes F. de Boer, Wellman Labs. of Photomedicine, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5316:
Coherence Domain Optical Methods and Optical Coherence Tomography in Biomedicine VIII
Valery V. Tuchin; Joseph A. Izatt; James G. Fujimoto, Editor(s)

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