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Evidence of early ultrastructural photoreceptor abnormalities in light-induced retinal degeneration using spectral domain optical coherence tomography
  1. Mehak K Aziz1,
  2. Aiguo Ni1,
  3. Denise A Esserman2,
  4. Sai H Chavala1
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2Departments of Medicine, Division of General Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sai Chavala, Department of Ophthalmology, University of North Carolina, 5151 Bioinformatics Building, CB #7040, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA; schavala{at}med.unc.edu

Abstract

Background To study spatiotemporal in vivo changes in retinal morphology and quantify thickness of retinal layers in a mouse model of light-induced retinal degeneration using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT).

Methods BALB/c mice were exposed to 5000 lux of constant light for 3 h. SD-OCT images were taken 3 h, 24 h, 3 days, 1 week and 1 month after light exposure and were compared with histology at the same time points. SD-OCT images were also taken at 0, 1 and 2 h after light exposure in order to analyse retinal changes at the earliest time points. The thickness of retinal layers was measured using the Bioptigen software InVivoVue Diver.

Results SD-OCT demonstrated progressive outer retinal thinning. 3 h after light exposure, the outer nuclear layer converted from hyporeflective to hyper-reflective. At 24 h, outer retinal bands and nuclear layer demonstrated similar levels of hyper-reflectivity. Significant variations in outer retinal thickness, vitreous opacities and retinal detachments occurred within days of injury. Thinning of the retina was observed at 1 month after injury. It was also determined that outer nuclear layer changes precede photoreceptor segment structure disintegration and the greatest change in segment structure occurs between 1 and 2 h after light exposure.

Conclusions Longitudinal SD-OCT reveals intraretinal changes that cannot be observed by histopathology at early time points in the light injury model.

  • Anatomy
  • Apotosis
  • Degeneration
  • Imaging
  • Experimental &#8211 animal models

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