Imaging of Optic Nerve Head Drusen: Improvements With Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography

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To demonstrate a new algorithm that can determine the shape, location, and volume of optic nerve head drusen (ONHD), which were imaged with spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SDOCT).


One exenteration patient and 4 glaucoma patients with bilateral ONHD were recruited from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and from a private practice office. Images were obtained using an experimental SDOCT system developed at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. With axial resolutions of about 6 μm, SDOCT can obtain 2-dimensional images in 1/29 of a second, compared with commercially available time domain OCT instruments with 10 μm resolution images in 1.28 seconds. The volumes of ONHD were calculated with a new algorithm and were then correlated with visual field mean deviation.


SDOCT can display 2-dimensional images comparable with histology and 3-dimensional videos of ONHD. ONHD are signal-poor regions with high-signaled borders. Larger ONHD volumes are directly correlated with larger mean deviation absolute values on Humphrey visual field testing.


SDOCT is a potentially better technique for ONHD imaging and may improve the diagnosis and management of patients with both OHND and glaucoma.

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