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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Mar 18;52(3):1486-92. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-5946. Print 2011 Mar.

Revealing Henle's fiber layer using spectral domain optical coherence tomography.

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  • 1Department of Vision Science, School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA. blujan@berkeley.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) uses infrared light to visualize the reflectivity of structures of differing optical properties within the retina. Despite their presence on histologic studies, traditionally acquired SD-OCT images are unable to delineate the axons of photoreceptor nuclei, Henle's fiber layer (HFL). The authors present a new method to reliably identify HFL by varying the entry position of the SD-OCT beam through the pupil.

METHODS:

Fifteen eyes from 11 subjects with normal vision were prospectively imaged using 1 of 2 commercial SD-OCT systems. For each eye, the entry position of the SD-OCT beam through the pupil was varied horizontally and vertically. The reflectivity of outer retinal layers was measured as a function of beam position, and thicknesses were recorded.

RESULTS:

The reflectivity of HFL was directionally dependent and increased with eccentricity on the side of the fovea opposite the entry position. When HFL was included in the measurement, the thickness of the outer nuclear layer (ONL) of central horizontal B-scans increased by an average of 52% in three subjects quantified. Four cases of pathology, in which alterations to the normal macular geometry affected HFL intensity, were identified.

CONCLUSIONS:

The authors demonstrated a novel method to distinguish HFL from true ONL. An accurate measurement of the ONL is critical to clinical studies measuring photoreceptor layer thickness using any SD-OCT system. Recognition of the optical properties of HFL can explain reflectivity changes imaged in this layer in association with macular pathology.

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