Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an emerging technology for performing high-resolution cross-sectional imaging. OCT is analogous to ultrasound imaging, except that it uses light instead of sound. OCT can provide cross-sectional images of tissue structure on the micron scale in situ and in real time. This is a wonderful instrument that helps doctors in determining the diagnosis and the plan for treatment. -MDA

Ocular Surgery News U.S. Edition, October 24, 2014

Technological evolution, with optical coherence tomography(OCT) in the forefront, is gradually but radically changing the diagnostic and management approach to glaucoma. Earlier detection of structural changes allows prediction of functional consequences and quantification of progression.

“The physiological structure-function relationship is beyond question and the basis for glaucoma management; however, the available technologies to assess either aspect are far from perfect. Current developments suggest that the threshold for detecting damage might be lower in structural imaging than in standard automated perimetry,” Herbert Reitsamer, MD, said. “The impact of structural documentation on therapy decisions has not been so great in the past but will become increasingly important with the high specificity and sensitivity of emerging technologies.”

 Herbert Reitsamer, MD, noted that the impact of structural documentation in therapy decisions has not been great in the past but will become increasingly important with the high specificity and sensitivity of emerging technologies.

“OCT will be able to detect glaucomatous abnormalities prior to our current functional measurement technology being able to detect them, and the earlier in the disease that you can detect damage or progression, the more likely it is you are able to prevent further progression with less intensive intervention,” OSN Glaucoma Board Member and co-inventor of OCT Joel S. Schuman, MD,said.

Wolfgang Drexler, PhD, who played a leading role as a biomedical engineer in the development of OCT, added that “quantifying function is significantly harder than quantifying morphology. Visual field is not a very precise technique, and progress in this area is much more challenging.”

According to Schuman, an OCT system is a better method of detecting and following glaucoma once it hits a tipping point of 75 µm of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness because it shows a good correspondence between structural and functional loss….

Read more: http://www.healio.com/ophthalmology/glaucoma/news/print/ocular-surgery-news/%7B371c247b-864b-4167-b3ed-21f22129512f%7D/emerging-technologies-open-new-horizons-in-glaucoma-structural-evaluation-management-OCT