Spectral/Fourier Domain Optical Coherence Tomography

  • Royce W. S. Chen
  • James G. Fujimoto
  • Jay S. Duker

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a powerful diagnostic imaging tool with which multiple quantitative and qualitative studies on diseases of the eye have been performed.1–7 Optical coherence tomography imaging is analogous to ultrasonic imaging, except that it measures echo time delays of light instead of sound.1,8 Because light travels extremely quickly, echo time delays cannot be directly measured, and correlation techniques are required. Using a technique called low-coherence interferometry, a beam of light from a low-coherence light source, such as a superluminescent diode (SLD), is directed through a beam splitter and is divided into a sample and a reference beam. Light from the sample beam is reflected back from retinal structures with different echo time delays, depending on internal properties of ocular structures. Light from the reference beam is reflected from a reference mirror whose distance is known. The echoes from the two arms are combined by an interferometer and detected.


Optical Coherence Tomography Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Macular Hole Cystoid Macular Edema Axial Scan 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Royce W. S. Chen
    • 1
  • James G. Fujimoto
    • 2
  • Jay S. Duker
    • 1
  1. 1.Vitreoretinal Service, New England Eye CenterTufts University School of MedicineBoston
  2. 2.Research Laboratory of Electronics and Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge

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