Various layers of the retina are well known to alter the polarization state of light. Such changes in polarization may be a sensitive indicator of tissue structure and function, and as such have gained increased clinical attention. Here we demonstrate a polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) system that incorporates adaptive optics (AO) in the sample arm and a single line scan camera in the detection arm. We quantify the benefit of AO for PS-OCT in terms of signal-to-noise, lateral resolution, and speckle size. Double pass phase retardation per unit depth values ranging from 0.25°/μ m to 0.65°/μ m were found in the birefringent nerve fiber layer at 6° eccentricity, superior to the fovea, with the highest values being noticeably higher than previously reported with PSOCT around the optic nerve head. Moreover, fast axis orientation and degree of polarization uniformity measurements made with AO-PS-OCT demonstrate polarization scrambling in the retinal pigment epithelium at the highest resolution reported to date.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics