Comparison of optical coherence tomography imaging of cataracts with histopathology

Cheryl D. DiCarlo, W. P. Roach, Donald A. Gagliano, Stephen A. Boppart, Daniel X. Hammer, Ann B. Cox, James C. Fujimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a comparison of in vivo optical coherence tomography (OCT) captured cataract images to subsequent histopathological examination of the lenticular opacities. OCT imaging was performed on anesthetized Rhesus monkeys, known as the delayed effects colony (DEC), with documented cataracts. These monkeys were exposed to several types of radiation during the mid and late 1960s. The radiation and age related cataracts in these animals were closely monitored using a unique grading system developed specifically for the DEC. In addition to this system, a modified version of a common cataract grading scheme for use in humans was applied. Of the original 18 monkeys imaged, lenses were collected at necropsy from seven of these animals, processed, and compared to OCT images. Results showed a direct correlation between the vertical OCT images and the cataractous lesions seen on corresponding histopathologic sections of the lenses. Based on the images obtained and their corresponding documented comparison to histopathology, OCT showed tremendous potential to aid identification and characterization of cataracts. There can be artifactual problems with the images related to movement and shadows produced by opacities. However, with the advent of increased speed in imaging and multiplanar imaging, these disadvantages may easily be overcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-458
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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