In the past decade, optical coherence tomography (OCT) has revolutionized how ophthalmologists care for and treat patients with retinal diseases. Prior to its advent, diagnosis of most diseases of the macula, the central portion of the retina that is paramount for high-resolution vision, had not progressed beyond 19th century lenses and microscopes. OCT, which uses simply light in or close to the visible spectrum, allows us to image the retina with breathtaking resolution, resolving structures to about 5 microns in a tissue that is normally 250 microns thick.
OCT angiography is a recent innovation in this technology which non-invasively images blood flow based on the principle that the only source of decorrelation in a stationary eye should be moving red blood cells through retinal vessels. With these two modalities, we can now identify, treat, and follow a whole host of common diseases like age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, macular edema (swelling), and rare inflammatory or autoimmune diseases of the retina. Moreover, new opportunities for research present themselves, like changes in retinal hemodynamics in different disease states or in response to different therapies, as well as opportunities for computer-aided diagnosis.
Speaker: Harpal S. Sandhu, M.D.
Dr. Sandhu is an assistant professor of ophthalmology, within the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, and an attending vitreoretinal surgeon and uveitis (intraocular inflammation) specialist at the Kentucky Lions Eye Center.
He received his A.B. in chemistry from Harvard College and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and completed his residency training in ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, and fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery and disease at the Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania, where he was involved in retinal imaging and retinal gene therapy research. Dr. Sandhu’s main research interests are ocular immunology as it applies to the retina and noninvasive multimodal imaging for clinical research.