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Richard F. Spaide, Tilman Otto, Sophie Caujolle, Johannes Kübler, Silke Aumann, Joerg Fischer, Charles Reisman, Hendrik Spahr, Annette Lessmann; Lateral Resolution of a Commercial Optical Coherence Tomography Instrument. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2022;11(1):28. https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.11.1.28.
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The lateral resolution of an optical coherence tomography (OCT) instrument was considered to be equal to the illumination spot size on the retina. To evaluate the potential lateral resolution of the Spectralis OCT, an instrument calculated to have a 14 µm resolution.
The lateral point spread function (PSF) was evaluated using diamond abrasive powder 0 to 1 µm in diameter in silicone elastomer and a validated target with 800 nm FeO particles in urethane. The amplitude transfer function was calculated from human OCT images. Finally, resolution was measured using the 1951 USAF target.
Measurement of the lateral PSF from 1215 diamond particle images yielded a full-width half maximum (FWHM) to be 5.11 µm and for 732 FeO particles, 4.9 µm. From the amplitude transfer function, the FWHM of the diffraction limited PSF was calculated to be 5.0 µm. The USAF target imaging showed a lateral resolution of 4.6 µm.
Although a calculation of the spot size of the illumination beam was reported in the past as the lateral resolution of the OCT instrument, the actual lateral resolution is better by a factor of at least 2.5 times. The clinically used A-scan spacing was derived from the calculated, and not the true resolution, and results in under sampling. This set of findings likely apply to all commercial clinical instruments.
The scan density parameters of past and present commercial OCT instruments were based on earlier translational concepts, which now appear to have been incorrect.
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