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E. Götzinger, M. Pircher, M. Sticker, I. Dejaco-Ruhswurm, S. Kaminski, C. Skorpik, A.F. Fercher, C.K. Hitzenberger; Pathologic Changes of Corneal Birefringence Imaged With Polarization Sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):3668.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: To demonstrate the capability of polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) to detect and image changes of birefringence properties of the human cornea caused by pathologic structural changes. Methods: A phase sensitive PS-OCT system measuring reflectivity, retardation, and optic axis orientation simultaneously was used to acquire 3D data sets of corneal pathologies in vitro. In a first step, several full-thickness human corneal explants with keratoconus and corneal scars were imaged. From the 3D data sets, cross sectional and en face tomographic images were derived and the results compared with those of normal corneas. Results: The normal pattern of corneal birefringence, which shows a radially symmetric increase of phase retardation from the center towards the periphery, is dramatically changed in keratoconus and scar tissue. The retardation distribution becomes irregular, strong birefringence can even be found in the central, thin part of the cornea. The figure shows en face PS-OCT images of retardation distribution at the posterior surface of the cornea: normal cornea (left); keratoconus cornea (right). Blue: lowest retardation; red highest retardation. Axes: mm. Conclusions: PS-OCT can detect and image birefringence changes in pathologic human corneas. The technique might be useful for diagnostic purposes. The results might be important for retinal nerve fiber polarimetry of patients with pathologic cornea. View OriginalDownload SlideView OriginalDownload Slide
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