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Helena Giannakaki-Zimmermann, Despina Kokona, Sebastian Wolf, Andreas Ebneter, Martin S. Zinkernagel; Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography in Mice: Comparison with Confocal Scanning Laser Microscopy and Fluorescein Angiography. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2016;5(4):11. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.5.4.11.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) allows noninvasive visualization of retinal vessels in vivo. OCT-A was used to characterize the vascular network of the mouse retina and was compared with fluorescein angiography (FA) and histology.
In the present study, OCT-A based on a Heidelberg Engineering Spectralis system was used to investigate the vascular network in mice. Data was compared with FA and confocal microscopy of flat-mount histology stained with isolectin IB4. For quantitative analysis the National Cancer Institute's AngioTool software was used. Vessel density, the number of vessel junctions, and endpoints were measured and compared between the imaging modalities.
The configuration of the superficial capillary network was comparable with OCT-A and flat-mount histology in BALBc mice. However, vessel density and the number of vessel junctions per region of interest (P = 0.0161 and P = 0.0015, respectively) in the deep vascular network of BALBc mice measured by OCT-A was significantly higher than with flat-mount histology. In C3A.Cg-Pde6b+Prph2Rd2/J mice, where the deep capillary plexus is absent, analysis of the superficial network provided similar results for all three imaging modalities.
OCT-A is a helpful imaging tool for noninvasive, in vivo imaging of the vascular plexus in mice. It may offer advantages over FA and confocal microscopy especially for imaging the deep vascular plexus.
The present study shows that OCT-A can be employed for small animal imaging to assess the vascular network and offers advantages over flat-mount histology and FA.
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