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Rachelle O'Connell, Ramiro S. Maldonado, Rewa Choudhary, Stephanie Chiu, Sharon F. Freedman, David K. Wallace, Sina Farsiu, Cynthia A. Toth; SDOCT Characteristics of the Choroid in Premature Neonatal Eyes Differ from Those in Adult Eyes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):2867.
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Adult choroidal thickness appears to change with age. Techniques such as inverted or enhanced-depth imaging (EDI) are often required to visualize the choroidal-scleral junction (CSJ). Using portable spectral domain optical coherence tomography (PSD OCT) imaging, we compare characteristics of the developing choroid in premature neonates to adults.
Single-frame upright SDOCT images across the fovea were obtained in 56 premature neonates using 840 nm hand-held PSD OCT (Bioptigen Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC). Young adults were imaged on the same system (n=9) and on an 840 nm table-top SDOCT system (n=10, also Bioptigen). Images were scored for ability to view full thickness choroid and the choroidal-scleral junction (CSJ). In scans with adequate CSJ visibility, the choroid was segmented from outer Bruch’s membrane to inner sclera using a custom program written in MATLAB (Mathworks, Inc). Subfoveal choroidal thickness and the central choroidal area were computed from the segmentation.
The CSJ was visualized in a higher proportion of neonates than adults and varied by race in adults only (Table 1). Subfoveal choroidal thickness was similar in the premature neonates 190 (99-358) µm and young adults 234 (116-339) µm (p=0.110, Wilcoxon rank sum test) with a visible CSJ, although thicker choroid could be present in eyes without visible CSJ.
The RPE and choroidal pigment of the premature infant eye differ from the adult on SDOCT imaging at 840 nm. Choroidal imaging early in life is possible in both white and black subjects. Unlike in adult eyes, choroidal thickness in neonatal eyes can usually be measured from a single upright scan.
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