June 2013
Volume 54, Issue 15
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2013
Phase retardation changes of Henle’s fiber layer associated with aging
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Qiang Wang
    School of Optometry, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
  • Barry Cense
    Center of Optical Research and Education, Utsunomiya University, Utsunomiya, Japan
  • Omer Kocaoglu
    School of Optometry, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
  • Zhuolin Liu
    School of Optometry, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
  • Donald Miller
    School of Optometry, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Qiang Wang, None; Barry Cense, Topcon (F), US2007-0038040 (P), US2012-0038885 (P), JP2012-064565 (P), JP2012-067488 (P); Omer Kocaoglu, None; Zhuolin Liu, None; Donald Miller, n/a (P)
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2013, Vol.54, 1467. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Qiang Wang, Barry Cense, Omer Kocaoglu, Zhuolin Liu, Donald Miller; Phase retardation changes of Henle’s fiber layer associated with aging. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):1467.

      Download citation file:

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

  • Supplements

Henle’s fiber layer (HFL) is composed of photoreceptor axons whose structured organization is well known to exhibit birefringence, a difference in refractive index experienced by light polarized perpendicular and parallel to the axon. While reduced birefringence has been suggested as an early indicator of disease onset, little is known about its distribution in the normal population and dependence on age. To address this issue, we compared phase retardation of HFL in two age groups using a research-grade polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) system. PS-OCT depth resolves birefringence, permitting separation of the phase retardation contribution of HFL from that of other layers in the eye.


The PS-OCT system - previously developed at Indiana - simultaneously records depth-resolved intensity and birefringence by modulating the input polarization between two states. For this study, PS-OCT was configured to acquire volumes (15°x15°; 100 B-scans x 1000 A-scans) centered on the subject’s fovea at an A-scan rate of 25 kHz. Double pass phase retardation (DPPR) measurements were recorded on 10 young (20-35 yrs) and 10 older (50-65 yrs) gender matched subjects, with no signs of ocular pathology based on ophthalmologic examination. All subjects had refractive error less than ±4D. DPPR induced by HFL was extracted by comparing Stokes vectors at the inner limiting membrane to that at the inner-and-outer segment junction of the photoreceptor layer, which is the first strongly reflecting surface below HFL. To increase signal-to-noise, radial averages of DPPR about the foveal center were computed. Aging was tested by linear regression on the maximum DPPR value and corresponding retinal eccentricity.


To date, 12 of the 20 subjects have been processed. For these 12, Fig. 1 shows traces of the mean and standard deviation of the radially-averaged DPPR. The maximum DPPR is 23.0+/-3.9° (avg+/-2σ) and occurs at 2.0° retinal eccentricity. Linear regression reveals an overall decrease of 0.07°/yr (R^2=0.25) for maximum DPPR, 0.06°/yr (R^2=0.30) for average DPPR from 0.5° to 5° retinal eccentricity, and no age correlation for retinal eccentricity.


Phase retardation of HFL varies significantly across eyes and decreases with age.

Figure 1. Radially-averaged DPPR versus retinal eccentricity.
Figure 1. Radially-averaged DPPR versus retinal eccentricity.
Keywords: 552 imaging methods (CT, FA, ICG, MRI, OCT, RTA, SLO, ultrasound) • 413 aging  

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.