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Qiuhong Li, Adrian M. Timmers, Kirk Hunter, Carlos Gonzalez-Pola, Alfred S. Lewin, David H. Reitze, William W. Hauswirth; Noninvasive Imaging by Optical Coherence Tomography to Monitor Retinal Degeneration in the Mouse. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2001;42(12):2981-2989. doi: https://doi.org/.
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purpose. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution imaging
technique that measures the intensity of backscattered light from
biological microstructures in living tissue. The objective was to
evaluate OCT as a routine, noninvasive technique for quantitative
measurements of retinal thickness and detachment in small animal models
of retinal degenerative diseases.
methods. An OCT scanning unit was designed and built to visualize retinal tissue
from rodents at high resolution in vivo. Several normal and retinal
degeneration (rd) mouse strains with different
pigmentation, as well as a transgenic mouse strain that carries a
wild-type β-PDE gene in an rd/rd background, were analyzed at
different ages. Retinal detachment was induced by subretinal injection
of saline. Retinal function was evaluated by full-field ERG, and then
each retina was cross-sectionally scanned by OCT. OCT image analysis
and measurements of retinal thickness were performed. Animals were then
killed and retinal histology was documented.
results. OCT images of the mouse retina revealed structural landmarks allowing
assignment of retinal structures. There was no difference in the OCT
pattern between pigmented and nonpigmented mice. Changes in the retinal
thickness measured by OCT correlated very well with the loss in
function measured by ERG and histology in rd/rd and rd/rd/tg + transgenic mice at a variety of ages. In addition, retinal detachment
caused by surgery was easily visualized and observed by OCT imaging.
conclusions. OCT imaging is applicable to the mouse retina. There is excellent
agreement between the retinal thickness measured by OCT, ERG amplitude,
and retinal histology, thus validating OCT imaging as a sensitive and
noninvasive tool for monitoring the structural progression of retinal
diseases in rodent models. OCT also appears useful for visualizing
retinal detachments in the mouse.
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