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Hanna M. Gottschalk, Thomas Wecker, Mohammed H. Khattab, Charlotte V. Fischer, Josep Callizo, Florian Rehfeldt, Roswitha Lubjuhn, Christoph Russmann, Hans Hoerauf, Christian van Oterendorp; Lipid Emulsion–Based OCT Angiography for Ex Vivo Imaging of the Aqueous Outflow Tract. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(1):397-406. https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.18-25223.
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Contrast agents applicable for optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging are rare. The intrascleral aqueous drainage system would be a potential application for a contrast agent, because the aqueous veins are of small diameter and located deep inside the highly scattering sclera. We tested lipid emulsions (LEs) as candidate OCT contrast agents in vitro and ex vivo, including milk and the anesthetic substance Propofol.
Commercial OCT and OCT angiography (OCTA) devices were used. Maximum reflectivity and signal transmission of LE were determined in tube phantoms. Absorption spectra and light scattering was analyzed. The anterior chamber of enucleated porcine eyes was perfused with LEs, and OCTA imaging of the LEs drained via the aqueous outflow tract was performed.
All LEs showed a significantly higher reflectivity than water (P < 0.001). Higher milk lipid content was positively correlated with maximum reflectivity and negatively with signal transmission. Propofol exhibited the best overall performance. Due to a high degree of signal fluctuation, OCTA could be applied for detection of LE. Compared with blood, the OCTA signal of Propofol was significantly stronger (P = 0.001). As a proof of concept, time-resolved aqueous angiography of porcine eyes was performed. The three-dimensional (3D) structure and dynamics of the aqueous outflow were significantly different from humans.
LEs induced a strong signal in OCT and OCTA. LE-based OCTA allowed the ability to obtain time-resolved 3D datasets of aqueous outflow. Possible interactions of LE with inner eye's structures need to be further investigated before in vivo application.
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