Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an established medical imaging technique that uses light to capture micrometer-resolution, three-dimensional images from within optical scattering media (e.g., biological tissue). Optical coherence tomography is based on low-coherence interferometry, typically employing near-infrared light. The use of relatively long wavelength light allows it to penetrate into the scattering medium. Confocal microscopy, another optical technique, typically penetrates less deeply into the sample but with higher resolution.
Advances in imaging technologies improve screening, detection of diabetic eye disease
There is a better way to screen for eye diseases with the advance in imaging technologies using a machine called the optical coherence tomography (OCT) .
For years, the main reason for ophthalmic screening in patients with diabetes has been to detect the presence of diabetic retinopathy or diabetic macular edema — both of which may lead to blindness if untreated — relying on either a dilated fundus examination or color photography.
One expert estimated that a dilated fundus examination performed by an ophthalmologist detects diabetic retinopathy in more than 90% of cases. Even so, subtle diabetic macular edema may not be picked up without an optical coherence tomography examination, according to David M. Brown, MD, FACS, of Retina Consultants of Houston. “In 30% of cases of diabetic macular edema, you will miss it without either a good exam or an OCT,” Brown said.
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