Slit-lamp-adapted optical coherence tomography of the anterior segment

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· Purpose: To evaluate the diagnostic potential of a slit-lamp-adapted optical coherence tomography (OCT) system as an in vivo imaging device for routine clinical examination of the anterior segment of the eye.· Patients and methods: In a pilot study, healthy volunteers and patients with different pathologies of the anterior segment were examined with a slit-lamp-adapted OCT system using 100–200 axial scans with 100-Hz line-scan frequency. The scan length is variable up to 7 mm, and the axial depth is 1.5 mm in tissue.· Results: The slit-lamp-adapted OCT system allowed direct biomicroscopic imaging of the measured area. Anatomic structures and morphological changes anterior to the attenuating iris pigment epithelium could be visualized with high accuracy. Biometric analyses of the cornea, the chamber angle, the iris and secondary cataract were possible. Complete demonstration of the chamber angle was difficult due to the backscattering properties of the anterior part of the sclera and the consequent shadowing of the most peripheral part of the iris.· Conclusions: Slit-lamp-adapted OCT is a useful diagnostic tool which allows in vivo microscopic cross-sectional imaging of the anterior segment and precise measurement of ocular structures.

Received: 11 February 1999 Revised version received: 28 April 1999 Accepted: 17 May 1999