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Optical coherence tomography: evaluation and clinical application

Muscat, Sarah (2003) Optical coherence tomography: evaluation and clinical application. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The ability to examine the appearance of the retina is of paramount importance for the diagnosis and monitoring of ophthalmic disease and for the evaluation of treatment outcomes. Direct cross-sectional imaging of retinal structure could be useful for early diagnosis and more sensitive monitoring of a variety of retinal conditions such as macular oedema and glaucoma. The view of the fundus given by ophthalmoscopy provides very limited depth information and clinicians will often have to resort to additional techniques such as flourescein angiography or visual field testing for information on structural abnormalities within the retina. Other currently available imaging techniques do not provide sufficient depth resolution to produce useful cross-sectional images of retinal structure. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a new imaging technique which is capable of producing cross-sectional images of the retina with a resolution that surpasses that of conventional imaging techniques. This new technique has axial resolution of around 1 O.tm and can resolve individual retinal layers, thus providing information on retinal structure. In principle, OCT is very similar to ultrasound however it makes use of a light source rather than an acoustic one. The technique is non-contact and non-invasive and is generally well tolerated by patients. This thesis describes the evaluation of this new imaging technique with regards to its potential within routine clinical practice. A number of investigations were performed to fuffil this evaluation. Tests were carried out to experimentally measure the system's resolution and the accuracy and precision of measurements made from the OCT scans. A number of factors that could affect the quality of the scans were identified and their effects were minimised wherever possible. The software provided with the system was rigorously tested and potential sources of error were identified. Various studies were undertaken to quantify the repeatability and reproducibility of measurements made from scans and normative values were established. These results were used to assess the ability of the technique to detect and quantify several retinal disorders. The potential of the technique for corneal imaging was investigated - a scanning protocol was established and customised software for processing cornea! scans was developed. The relationship between OCT bands and retinal morphology was investigated by correlating scans from canine retina with corresponding light microscopy images and by observing the position of retinal abnormalities on scans from patients with a variety of conditions that affected different parts of the retina. Finally the clinical potential of OCT was investigated by carrying out various studies on a number of retinal conditions. Further clinical studies which combine anatomical information from OCT with functional information from electrophysiology are currently underway. Current developments are aimed at improving the imaging processing features and user interface so as to provide a more robust, user-friendly system for routine clinical use.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Keating, Dr. David
Date of Award: 2003
Depositing User: Miss Fiona Riggans
Unique ID: glathesis:2003-630
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:20
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/630

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