Visible light optical coherence tomography (Oct) quantifies subcellular contributions to outer retinal band 4

Tingwei Zhang, Aaron M. Kho, Glenn Yiu, Vivek J. Srinivasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: To use visible light optical coherence tomography (OCT) to investigate subcel-lular reflectivity contributions to the outermost (4th) of the retinal hyperreflective bands visualized by current clinical near-infrared (NIR) OCT. Methods: Visible light OCT, with 1.0 μm axial resolution, was performed in 28 eyes of 19 human subjects (21–57 years old) without history of ocular pathology. Two foveal and three extrafoveal hyperreflective zones were consistently depicted within band 4 in all eyes. The two outermost hyperreflective bands, occasionally visualized by NIR OCT, were presumed to be the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and Bruch’s membrane (BM). RPE thickness, BM thickness, and RPE interior reflectivity were quantified topographi-cally across the macula. Results: A method for correcting RPE multiple scattering tails was found to both improve the Gaussian goodness-of-fit for the BM intensity profile and reduce the coeffi-cient of variation of BM thickness in vivo. No major topographical differences in macular BM thickness were noted. RPE thickness decreased with increasing eccentricity. Visible light OCT signal intensity in the RPE was weighted to the apical side and attenuated more across the RPE in the fovea than peripherally. Conclusions: Morphometry of the presumed RPE and BM bands is consistent with known anatomy. Weighting of RPE reflectivity toward the apical side suggests that melanosomes are the predominant contributors to RPE backscattering and signal atten-uation in young eyes. Translational Relevance: By enabling morphometric analysis of the RPE and BM, visible light OCT deciphers the main reflectivity contributions to outer retinal band 4, commonly visualized by commercial OCT systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number30
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Bruch’s membrane
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Retina
  • Retinal pigment epithelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Ophthalmology


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