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Imaging of the retinal nerve fibre layer with spectral domain optical coherence tomography for glaucoma diagnosis
  1. Kyung Rim Sung1,
  2. Jong S Kim2,
  3. Gadi Wollstein2,
  4. Lindsey Folio2,
  5. Michael S Kook1,
  6. Joel S Schuman2
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology, UPMC Eye Center, Eye and Ear Institute, Ophthalmology and Visual Science Research Center, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kyung Rim Sung, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Ulsan, College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, 388-1 Pungnap-2-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, Korea 138-736; sungeye{at}


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) techniques have been applied to develop a new generation of the technology, called spectral domain (SD) or Fourier domain (FD) OCT. The commercially available SD-OCT technology offers benefits over the conventional time domain (TD) OCT such as a scanning speed up to 200 times faster and higher axial resolution (3 to 6 μm). Overall, SD-OCT offers improved performance in terms of reproducibility. SD-OCT has a level of discriminating capability, between healthy and perimetric glaucoma eyes similar to that obtained with TD-OCT. Furthermore, the capabilities and features of SD-OCT are rapidly evolving, mainly due to three-dimensional imaging and image rendering. More sophisticated approaches for macular and optic disc assessment are expected to be employed in clinical practice. Analysis software should be further refined for interpretation of SD-OCT images in order to enhance the sensitivity and specificity of glaucoma diagnostics. Most importantly for SD-OCT is determination of its ability to diagnostic structural glaucomatous progression. Considering the recent launch time of the commercially available SD-OCT and slow progressing characteristic of glaucoma, we must wait for longitudinal SD-OCT data, with a long enough follow-up, to become available.

  • Optic nerve
  • imaging
  • diagnostic tests/investigation

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  • Funding GW receives research funding from Optovue and Carl Zeiss Meditec.

  • Competing interests JSS receives royalties for intellectual property licensed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology to Carl Zeiss Meditec. JSS and GW receive royalties for intellectual property licensed by the University of Pittsburgh to Bioptigen.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.