Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is widely used in ophthalmic practice because it can visualize retinal structure and vasculature in vivo and 3-dimensionally (3D). Even though OCT procedures yield data volumes, clinicians typically interpret the 3D images using two-dimensional (2D) data subsets, such as cross-sectional scans or en face projections. Since a single OCT volume can contain hundreds of cross-sections (each of which must be processed with retinal layer segmentation to produce en face images), a thorough manual analysis of the complete OCT volume can be prohibitively time-consuming. Furthermore, 2D reductions of the full OCT volume may obscure relationships between disease progression and the (volumetric) location of pathology within the retina and can be prone to mis-segmentation artifacts. In this work, we propose a novel framework that can detect several retinal pathologies in three dimensions using structural and angiographic OCT. Our framework operates by detecting deviations in reflectance, angiography, and simulated perfusion from a percent depth normalized standard retina created by merging and averaging scans from healthy subjects. We show that these deviations from the standard retina can highlight multiple key features, while the depth normalization obviates the need to segment several retinal layers. We also construct a composite pathology index that measures average deviation from the standard retina in several categories (hypo- and hyper-reflectance, nonperfusion, presence of choroidal neovascularization, and thickness change) and show that this index correlates with DR severity. Requiring minimal retinal layer segmentation and being fully automated, this 3D framework has a strong potential to be integrated into commercial OCT systems and to benefit ophthalmology research and clinical care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics