Optical Coherence Tomography, “OCT” for short. OCT is a non-invasive technology used for imaging the retina, the multi-layered sensory tissue lining the back of the eye. OCT is the first instrument to allow doctors to see cross-sectional images of the retina, is revolutionizing the early detection and treatment of eye conditions such as macular holes, pre-retinal membranes, macular swelling and even optic nerve damage.
Similar to CT scans of internal organs, OCT uses the optical backscattering of light to rapidly scan the eye and describe a pixel representation of the anatomic layers within the retina. Each of these ten important layers can be differentiated and their thickness can be measured.
Knowing the normal thickness of a healthy retinal layer, the ophthalmologist can then distinguish a multitude of retinal diseases and conditions.
In 2007, OCT was named one of the top 10 medical innovations expected to improve healthcare.
For certain conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration and cystoid macular edema, the 45 second OCT procedure is able to reduce or eliminate the need for fluorescein angiography for some patients.
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