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Optical Coherence Tomography Imaging

Optical coherence tomography (OCT)-Imaging has revolutionized the management of macular and retinal diseases. Based on low-coherence interferometry, this non-invasive imaging modality allows for three-dimensional mapping of the retina in-vivo. Cross-sectional imaging of the macula by OCT on a nearly micrometer-resolution level has opened the "third dimension" to Ophthalmologists in a way that has not previously been possible in the living eye. Another important reason for its breakthrough and fast adaptation is the parallel introduction of therapeutic strategies in which OCT plays a key role. These include anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) therapy and the steroid treatment of exudative macular disease as well as the treatment of the diseases of the vitreoretinal interface, be it surgical or pharmaceutical, where OCT findings are decisive. Finally, OCT imaging is a diagnostic procedure that can be integrated into clinical practice without major difficulties. It is not only relatively easy and fast to acquire from the operator’s standpoint, but is also associated with low patient burden (non-invasive, no glare, no pupil dilatation required in most situations).

Knowing the pearls but also the pitfalls of this out-standing imaging modality is key for a responsible and focused application – not only in standard clinical care, but also in research, such as the OCT imaging in large-scale interventional trials, aiming to assess the efficacy and safety profile of new therapeutic concepts.


3D OCT colour