July 2014
Volume 55, Issue 7
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Research Highlight  |   July 2014
Imaging Cone Photoreceptor Inner Segments in the Living Human Eye
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2014, Vol.55, 4252. doi:10.1167/iovs.14-14967
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      Ronald M. Hansen; Imaging Cone Photoreceptor Inner Segments in the Living Human Eye. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(7):4252. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-14967.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Advances in high resolution imaging technology provide unique opportunities for clinicians and researchers to study the living retina. 1 Adaptive optics (AO) are used to correct monochromatic aberrations of the eye and, when used in conjunction with a scanning light ophthalmoscope (SLO), enable visualization of the rod and cone photoreceptors. While much research has been directed toward quantifying parameters of the normal cone photoreceptor matrix, investigators are also examining the effect of degeneration on the photoreceptors. The value of this work is two-fold. It provides information about pathology at the cellular level and it supplies a method for tracking changes in the photoreceptors over the course of degeneration or during a treatment trial. However, there is a limitation. Imaging of the photoreceptor depends on the waveguide properties of intact, correctly oriented outer segments; disruption of this property, as may happen in disease, makes assessment of residual cone structure difficult. Scoles et al. 2 reported the use of nonconfocal SLO images to visualize the photoreceptor inner segments even when wave guide properties of the outer segment are disrupted. Their method allows them to simultaneously visualize the photoreceptor inner segments and the outer segments in register. Assessment of inner segment diameter agrees well with histology. They demonstrate the presence of intact inner segments in patients with achromatopsia, which is known to disrupt outer segment structure. The method of Scoles et al. 2 has potential for significant impact in identifying patients who may benefit from treatment or for following the effect of treatment at a cellular level. 
References
Carroll J Kay DB Scoles D Dubra A Lombardo M. Adaptive optics retinal imaging--clinical opportunities and challenges. Curr Eye Res . 2013; 38: 709–721. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Scoles D Sulai YN Langlo CS In vivo imaging of human cone photoreceptor inner segments. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 2014; 55: 4244–4251. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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