Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2001 Nov;42(12):2981-9.

Noninvasive imaging by optical coherence tomography to monitor retinal degeneration in the mouse.

Author information

  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Florida, College of Medicine, Gainesville 32610, USA.



Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution imaging technique that measures the intensity of backscattered light from biological microstructures in living tissue. The objective was to evaluate OCT as a routine, noninvasive technique for quantitative measurements of retinal thickness and detachment in small animal models of retinal degenerative diseases.


An OCT scanning unit was designed and built to visualize retinal tissue from rodents at high resolution in vivo. Several normal and retinal degeneration (rd) mouse strains with different pigmentation, as well as a transgenic mouse strain that carries a wild-type beta-PDE gene in an rd/rd background, were analyzed at different ages. Retinal detachment was induced by subretinal injection of saline. Retinal function was evaluated by full-field ERG, and then each retina was cross-sectionally scanned by OCT. OCT image analysis and measurements of retinal thickness were performed. Animals were then killed and retinal histology was documented.


OCT images of the mouse retina revealed structural landmarks allowing assignment of retinal structures. There was no difference in the OCT pattern between pigmented and nonpigmented mice. Changes in the retinal thickness measured by OCT correlated very well with the loss in function measured by ERG and histology in rd/rd and rd/rd/tg(+) transgenic mice at a variety of ages. In addition, retinal detachment caused by surgery was easily visualized and observed by OCT imaging.


OCT imaging is applicable to the mouse retina. There is excellent agreement between the retinal thickness measured by OCT, ERG amplitude, and retinal histology, thus validating OCT imaging as a sensitive and noninvasive tool for monitoring the structural progression of retinal diseases in rodent models. OCT also appears useful for visualizing retinal detachments in the mouse.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk