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J Ophthalmol. 2011;2011:385058. doi: 10.1155/2011/385058. Epub 2011 Jul 18.

Optical coherence tomography of retinal and choroidal tumors.

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  • 1Oncology Service, Wills Eye Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Suite 1440, 840 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has revolutionized the field of ophthalmology since its introduction 20 years ago. Originally intended primarily for retina specialists to image the macula, it has found its role in other subspecialties that include glaucoma, cornea, and ocular oncology. In ocular oncology, OCT provides axial resolution to approximately 7 microns with cross-sectional images of the retina, delivering valuable information on the effects of intraocular tumors on the retinal architecture. Some effects include retinal edema, subretinal fluid, retinal atrophy, photoreceptor loss, outer retinal thinning, and retinal pigment epithelial detachment. With more advanced technology, OCT now provides imaging deeper into the choroid using a technique called enhanced depth imaging. This allows characterization of the thickness and reflective quality of small (<3 mm thick) choroidal lesions including choroidal nevus and melanoma. Future improvements in image resolution and depth will allow better understanding of the mechanisms of visual loss, tumor growth, and tumor management.

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