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Opt Express. 2007 Nov 12;15(23):15193-206.

Automatic retinal blood flow calculation using spectral domain optical coherence tomography.


Optical Doppler tomography (ODT) is a branch of optical coherence tomography (OCT) that can measure the speed of a blood flow by measuring the Doppler shift impinged on the probing sample light by the moving blood cells. However, the measured speed of blood flow is a function of the Doppler angle, which needs to be determined in order to calculate the absolute velocity of the blood flow inside a vessel. We developed a technique that can extract the Doppler angle from the 3D data measured with spectral-domain OCT, which needs to extract the lateral and depth coordinates of a vessel in each measured ODT and OCT image. The lateral coordinates and the diameter of a blood vessel were first extracted in each OCT structural image by using the technique of blood vessel shadowgram, a technique first developed by us for enhancing the retinal blood vessel contrast in the en face view of the 3D OCT. The depth coordinate of a vessel was then determined by using a circular averaging filter moving in the depth direction along the axis passing through the vessel center in the ODT image. The Doppler angle was then calculated from the extracted coordinates of the blood vessel. The technique was applied in blood flow measurements in retinal blood vessels, which has potential impact on the study and diagnosis of blinding diseases like glaucoma.


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