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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Dec 28;52(13):9703-9. doi: 10.1167/iovs.11-8650.

The inner segment/outer segment border seen on optical coherence tomography is less intense in patients with diminished cone function.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA.


PURPOSE; The integrity of the inner segment ellipsoid (ISe) band, previously called the inner segment/outer segment (IS/OS) border, seen on optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans is of clinical significance. To better understand the influence of cones on the appearance of this band, the intensity of its signal in patients with diminished cone function was examined.


Horizontal line scans through the fovea of 30 healthy controls, 10 patients with achromatopsia (A), and six with cone dystrophy (CD) were obtained with frequency domain (fd) OCT. The fdOCT borders were segmented with a computer-aided manual technique. The ISe was divided into regions 60.1 μm wide and 19.5 μm deep. The relative ISe intensity of each region was defined as its intensity divided by the intensity of a local region, which extended in depth from the choroid to the retinal ganglion cell/retinal nerve fiber layer.


Except for the central fovea, all patients had a clear ISe band across the region studied, ± 3 mm from the foveal center. However, the relative ISe intensity was significantly lower (P < 0.0001) in patients (A: 1.14 ± 0.14; CD: 1.27 ± 0.14), than in controls (1.61 ± 0.16). There were no differences in the relative intensity of the other retinal layers.


Although present, the intensity of this ISe band is lower in patients with diminished cone function than it is in healthy controls. This is consistent with the hypothesis that both rod and cone receptors must be absent or damaged for the ISe band to be missing.

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