The hemodynamic response to neuronal activation is a well-studied phenomenon in the brain, due to the prevalence of functional magnetic resonance imaging. The retina represents an optically accessible platform for studying lamina-specific neurovascular coupling in the central nervous system; however, due to methodological limitations, this has been challenging to date. We demonstrate techniques for the imaging of visual stimulus-evoked hyperemia in the rat inner retina using Doppler optical coherence tomography (OCT) and OCT angiography. Volumetric imaging with three-dimensional motion correction, en face flow calculation, and normalization of dynamic signal to static signal are techniques that reduce spurious changes caused by motion. We anticipate that OCT imaging of retinal functional hyperemia may yield viable biomarkers in diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, where the neurovascular unit may be impaired.
- neurovascular coupling
- optical coherence tomography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics