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OCT Angiography Opens Eyes

BioPhotonics
Aug 2016
The U.S. ophthalmology market over the past year has seen the first wave of commercial optical coherence tomography angiography systems, but this technology must overcome certain limitations before reaching ‘gold standard’ status.

JAMES SCHLETT, EDITOR, james.schlett@photonics.com

Dr. Daniela Ferrara, an assistant professor of ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, began researching retinal diseases in 1998. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in elderly individuals of European descent, has been a recurring topic in her research. However, it was not until about two years ago — when Ferrara started testing prototype optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) devices — that she saw just how much at the back of her patients’ eyes had been escaping her own eyes. For example, Ferrara identified choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in the OCT-A scan of an elderly patient long before it would have been noticeable in a conventional OCT scan or with indocyanine green angiography (ICGA). She could not believe it was possible to see the CNV — a condition marked by abnormal blood vessels stemming from the choroid and an indicator of AMD — so early. “I don’t think we knew what we were missing,” said Ferrara. A growing number of ophthalmologists, like Ferrara, are also starting to see what they have been missing as the first wave of OCT-A devices hit the U.S. market. Although Ferrara and her colleagues were able to run scans on patients who had consented to the study with the prototype OCT-A devices, it was only last summer that Dublin, Calif.-based Carl Zeiss Meditec Inc. became the first company to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance to market the technology in the United States. Last summer also saw the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Ore., host the first international Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography Summit.

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GLOSSARY
ophthalmology
The branch of medicine involved in the study of the anatomy, functions, diseases and treatments of the eye.
optical coherence tomography angiography
Also known as OCT-A, optical coherence tomography angiography is an imaging technique that uses light waves to measure changes in the reflectance characteristics, enabling the the quantitative analysis of vasculature. Primarily used in ophthamology, OCT-A is a noninvasive alternative to dye-based techniques for blood vessel imaging, such as indocyanine-green angiography and fluorescein angiography.
imagingBiophotonicsAmeicasEuropeophthalmologyoptical coherence tomography angiographyOCT-AOCT angiographyAge-related macular degenerationAMDfluorescein angiographyFAindocyanine-green angiography ICGAICG angiographyoptical coherence tomographyOCTchoroidal neovascularizationCNVZeiss Medical TechnologyNidekTopconOptovueHeidelberg EngineeringOregon Health and Science UniversityOHSUJames SchlettFeatures

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