Involuntary eye motion correction in retinal optical coherence tomography: Hardware or software solution?

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In this paper, we review state-of-the-art techniques to correct eye motion artifacts in Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) imaging. The methods for eye motion artifact reduction can be categorized into two major classes: (1) hardware-based techniques and (2) software-based techniques. In the first class, additional hardware is mounted onto the OCT scanner to gather information about the eye motion patterns during OCT data acquisition. This information is later processed and applied to the OCT data for creating an anatomically correct representation of the retina, either in an offline or online manner. In software based techniques, the motion patterns are approximated either by comparing the acquired data to a reference image, or by considering some prior assumptions about the nature of the eye motion. Careful investigations done on the most common methods in the field provides invaluable insight regarding future directions of the research in this area. The challenge in hardware-based techniques lies in the implementation aspects of particular devices. However, the results of these techniques are superior to those obtained from software-based techniques because they are capable of capturing secondary data related to eye motion during OCT acquisition. Software-based techniques on the other hand, achieve moderate success and their performance is highly dependent on the quality of the OCT data in terms of the amount of motion artifacts contained in them. However, they are still relevant to the field since they are the sole class of techniques with the ability to be applied to legacy data acquired using systems that do not have extra hardware to track eye motion.

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