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.
- Experimental – animal models
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