How Does Optical Coherence Tomography Work? Basic Principles

  • J. Fernando Arevalo
  • Daniel Krivoy
  • Carlos F. Fernandez

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) (Stratus OCT, Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc., Dublin, CA) (Fig. 10.1) is a commercially available computer-assisted precision optical instrument that generates cross-sectional images (tomograms) of ocular structures with close to 10-μm axial resolution.1 This technology is evolving, and its axial resolution has been reported to be as high as 3 μm in laboratory settings (ultrahigh-resolution OCT).23 Optical coherence tomography is analogous to B-mode ultrasound, except that it uses light rather than sound. Unlike ultrasound, OCT does not require contact with the tissue examined.


Optical Coherence Tomography Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Optic Nerve Head Retinal Thickness Macular Thickness 
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© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Fernando Arevalo
    • 1
  • Daniel Krivoy
    • 2
    • 3
  • Carlos F. Fernandez
    • 1
  1. 1.Retina and Vitreous Service, Clinica Oftalmológica Centro CaracasArevalo-Coutinho Foundation for Research in OphthalmologyCaracasVenezuela
  2. 2.New York Medical CollegeNew York
  3. 3.University of California at Los AngelesLos Angeles

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