March 2012
Volume 53, Issue 14
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   March 2012
Ex Vivo Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography (EXSDOCT) Of Histologically Characterized Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) And Normal Eyes
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jeffrey D. Messinger
    Ophthalmology, Univ of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
  • Kenneth R. Sloan
    Computer and Information Science, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
  • Nancy E. Medeiros
    Ophthalmology, Retina Specialists-N Alabama, Huntsville, Alabama
  • Christine A. Curcio
    Ophthalmology, Univ of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Jeffrey D. Messinger, None; Kenneth R. Sloan, None; Nancy E. Medeiros, None; Christine A. Curcio, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  NEI EY06109, EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, Research to Prevent Blindness Inc.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science March 2012, Vol.53, 4993. doi:
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      Jeffrey D. Messinger, Kenneth R. Sloan, Nancy E. Medeiros, Christine A. Curcio; Ex Vivo Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography (EXSDOCT) Of Histologically Characterized Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) And Normal Eyes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):4993.

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

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To assess the utility of ExSDOCT for identifying AMD among donor eyes destined for laboratory studies.


From donor eyes (median death-to-preservation = 2:40 hr), 46 maculas were excised for ExSDOCT, macula-wide high-resolution histological sections[1], and whole-section scanning. AMD eyes lacked exudative changes and exhibited pigmentary disturbances ≥2A (scale from [2]) AND either drusen or continuous basal laminar deposits in foveolar sections. Median processing-related shrinkage (histology/ OCT) was 0.72 linear. Digital sections were scaled to match the fovea-peripapillary Bruch’s terminus distance in corresponding ExSDOCT scans. Two observers independently assessed scans for layer visibility and descriptors of RPE band reflectivity designed to capture the range of morphologies (smooth, undulating, bumpy, thickened, elevated by drusen, atrophic) present in sections.


Study eyes comprised 23 AMD (17 early, 4 geographic atrophy, 2 neovascular; 6 with clinical diagnosis) and 23 normal maculas. Reflective bands in the neurosensory retina (3 nasal, 2 temporal) and at the RPE were visible in 91.7% and 85.1% of eyes, respectively (Κ=0.89, 0.81). Observers agreed on descriptors consistent with AMD for 18/23 AMD eyes. They disagreed on descriptors within the same diagnostic category on 2 AMD and 2 normal eyes and across categories in 6 normal eyes. Sensitivity and specificity for AMD detection were 95.2% and 72.7%, respectively. Other AMD indicators were less robust. Light transmission through the fovea increased in 64.6% of eyes, regardless of atrophy. Drusen were sporadic and not always matched to the limited number of histological sections.


ExSDOCT differs distinctly from clinical SDOCT yet is interpretable. Altered RPE reflectivity can be used to screen donor eyes for AMD pathology with reasonable reliability and could be considered for clinical images as well. Identifying donor eyes with AMD by clinical histories is not always feasible, because eye banks do not require ophthalmic histories for donation, and time between death and last clinical examination before death is variable.1. Curcio. IOVS 2011;52:3943.2. Vogt. Exp Eye Res. 2011;93:413.  

Keywords: age-related macular degeneration • imaging/image analysis: non-clinical 

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