The use of optical coherence tomography in neuro-ophthalmology

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Abstract

Purpose of review

In the last decade, with the advances of optical coherence tomography (OCT) technology, different imaging protocols and analysis algorithms have been introduced to maximize the potential of this diagnostic tool in the evaluation of different eye diseases. This review aims to provide an update on these additional features, with respect to the management of a diverse range of neuro-ophthalmologic conditions.

Recent findings

Macular ganglion cell complex (mGCC) analysis has been shown to be superior to peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) analysis in certain settings, such as differentiating Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy from functional visual loss; monitoring neurodegenerative diseases or multiple sclerosis; and predicting visual loss in nonarteritic ischemic optic neuropathy. mGCC analysis also demonstrates high correlation with perimetry and might serve as an early structural indicator of irreversible neuronal loss. Compared to pRNFL, retinal thickness analysis of the optic nerve head demonstrates better correlation with the severity of papilledema, thus enabling its possible application in detecting raised intracranial pressure, especially in the pediatric group. Upcoming research on emerging OCT technologies including OCT-angiography, enhanced depth imaging, retinal single-layer analysis and portable systems will hopefully further enhance the utility of OCT in the field.

Summary

It is crucial for neuro-ophthalmologists to be updated and familiar with these newer OCT imaging protocols and to make appropriate choices for different clinical scenarios, in order to optimize the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity.

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