Detailed Vascular Anatomy of the Human Retina by Projection-Resolved Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography

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Abstract

Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) is a noninvasive method of 3D imaging of the retinal and choroidal circulations. However, vascular depth discrimination is limited by superficial vessels projecting flow signal artifact onto deeper layers. The projection-resolved (PR) OCTA algorithm improves depth resolution by removing projection artifact while retaining in-situ flow signal from real blood vessels in deeper layers. This novel technology allowed us to study the normal retinal vasculature in vivo with better depth resolution than previously possible. Our investigation in normal human volunteers revealed the presence of 2 to 4 distinct vascular plexuses in the retina, depending on location relative to the optic disc and fovea. The vascular pattern in these retinal plexuses and interconnecting layers are consistent with previous histologic studies. Based on these data, we propose an improved system of nomenclature and segmentation boundaries for detailed 3-dimensional retinal vascular anatomy by OCTA. This could serve as a basis for future investigation of both normal retinal anatomy, as well as vascular malformations, nonperfusion, and neovascularization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number42201
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 10 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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