Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is the most important modern diagnostic tool for assessing retinal diseases (mainly macular and optic nerve), as well as the underlying choroid.
The first (OCT) was announced by Huang in 1991, when it was possible to visualize the biological tissue in two dimensions.
It is a non-invasive and painless technique, as it uses light-waves within the near-infrared spectrum that hit the retina and give in real time a full and detailed tomographic evaluation (visual biopsy) of both the structure and the pathology of the sufferer area.
The test lasts for a few minutes and usually does not even require anesthesia.
OCT analysis is superior to ultrasound, CT, and MRI.
The OCT is used:
- In the diagnosis of diseases that alter the morphology and in normal retinal anatomy.Diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, macular edema (in diabetic retinopathy or venous obstruction), central vertebral retinopathy, macular, epithelial membrane, glaucoma, and the like.
- Monitoring the progression of the disease and controls the response to treatment.
- OCT also has an important place in the diagnosis and monitoring of glaucoma.It allows visual nerve mapping (through ganglion cells), helping to diagnose glaucoma early (before creating visual disturbances) and recording any changes in the course of the disease.In particular, OCT in Laser and Ocular analyzes the density of ganglion cells, creating the “geophysical” map of the bottom of the eye, which is depicted in bold colors. From its analysis and color, variations according to physiological information about coming anatomical damage of the optic nerve can be extracted, long before the patient perceives a loss in his field of view, that is, before the damage is permanent.
- The OCT is also applicable to the anterior part of the eye, measurement of corneal thickness, and the angle of the anterior chamber (open or closed corner).
Optical tomography devices do not use “dangerous” radiation as opposed to CT machines. Their application therefore at regular intervals, e.g. on a monthly basis in patients with “wet” macular degeneration or in pregnant women is very safe.