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S. Krupsky, D. Rosenblatt, E. Ohel, R. Friedman, M. Sternheim; Spectral Imaging of Retinal Tissue Oxygenation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):3310.
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Retinal capillary non perfusion is a risk for the development of retinal neovascularization in eyes with diabetic retinopathy and other vascular abnormalities. Previous studies have studied retinal vessel oximetry inferring to oxygenation of the adjacent retinal tissue. The purpose of this study is to directly study the retinal oxygen level applying spectral imaging.
Patients with different ischemic retinal disorders were included if their fluorescein angiography displayed areas of non perfusion. Using a modified commercial fundus camera, a series of images at different wavelengths acquired at high speed were used to estimate the tissue oxygen level. As compared to the well studied field of retinal vessel oximetry, tissue oximetry requires additional spectral content, beyond two to three wavelengths in order to provide meaningful results.
Results were displayed as 2 color coded maps of the retina, one expressing the amount of red blood cells and the other the oxygen level in the tissue and in the main retinal vasculature. The algorithms used for blood vessels were able to display lower oxygen level in veins and high oxygen level in the retinal arteries. In the retinal tissue, areas of non perfusion on fluorescein angiography correlated with areas of lower oxygen levels.
Applying spectral imaging technology we were able to detect variation in tissue oxygen levels that correlated well with retinal pathology displayed by fluorescein angiography. This technique will be further studied to expand the diagnostic capabilities for various retinal diseases using various metabolic markers.
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