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Ou Tan, Liang Liu, Li Liu, David Huang; Nerve Fiber Flux Analysis Using Wide-Field Swept-Source Optical Coherence Tomography. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2018;7(1):16. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.7.1.16.
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To devise a method to quantify nerve fibers over their arcuate courses over an extended peripapillary area using optical coherence tomography (OCT).
Participants were imaged with 8 × 8-mm volumetric OCT scans centered at the optic disc. A new quantity, nerve fiber flux (NFF), represents the cross-sectional area transected perpendicular to the nerve fibers. The peripapillary area was divided into 64 tracks with equal flux. An iterative algorithm traced the trajectory of the tracks assuming that the relative distribution of the NFF was conserved with compensation for fiber connections to ganglion cells on the macular side. Average trajectory was averaged from normal eyes and use to calculate the NFF maps for glaucomatous eyes. The NFF maps were divided into eight sectors that correspond to visual field regions.
There were 24 healthy and 10 glaucomatous eyes enrolled. The algorithm converged on similar patterns of NFL tracks for all healthy eyes. In glaucomatous eyes, NFF correlated with visual field sensitivity in the arcuate sectors (Spearman ρ = 0.53–0.62). Focal nerve fiber loss in glaucomatous eyes appeared as uniform tracks of NFF defects that followed the expected arcuate fiber trajectory.
Using an algorithm based on the conservation of flux, we derived nerve fiber trajectories in the peripapillary area. The NFF map is useful for the visualization of focal defects and quantification of sector nerve fiber loss from wide-area volumetric OCT scans.
NFF provides a cumulative measure of volumetric loss along nerve fiber tracks and could improve the detection of focal glaucoma damage.
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