Optical coherence tomographic angiography (OCTA) can image the retinal blood flow but visualization of the capillary caliber is limited by the low lateral resolution. Adaptive optics (AO) can be used to compensate ocular aberrations when using high numerical aperture (NA), and thus improve image resolution. However, previously reported AO-OCTA instruments were large and complex, and have a small sub-millimeter field of view (FOV) that hinders the extraction of biomarkers with clinical relevance. In this manuscript, we developed a sensorless AO-OCTA prototype with an intermediate numerical aperture to produce depth-resolved angiograms with high resolution and signal-to-noise ratio over a 2 × 2 mm FOV, with a focal spot diameter of 6 μm, which is about 3 times finer than typical commercial OCT systems. We believe these parameters may represent a better tradeoff between resolution and FOV compared to large-NA AO systems, since the spot size matches better that of capillaries. The prototype corrects defocus, astigmatism, and coma using a figure of merit based on the mean reflectance projection of a slab defined with real-time segmentation of retinal layers. AO correction with the ability to optimize focusing in arbitrary retinal depths - particularly the plexuses in the inner retina - could be achieved in 1.35 seconds. The AO-OCTA images showed greater flow signal, signal-to-noise ratio, and finer capillary caliber compared to commercial OCTA. Projection artifacts were also reduced in the intermediate and deep capillary plexuses. The instrument reported here improves OCTA image quality without excessive sacrifice in FOV and device complexity, and thus may have potential for clinical translation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics