In vivo imaging of human retinal flow dynamics by color Doppler optical coherence tomography.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Color Doppler optical coherence tomography (CDOCT) combines laser Doppler velocimetry and optical coherence tomography for simultaneous micron-scale resolution cross-sectional imaging of tissue microstructure and blood flow. Recently, CDOCT was adapted to a slitlamp biomicroscope for imaging structure and blood flow in the human retina.


To demonstrate feasibility of CDOCT for imaging retinal hemodynamics.


Enabling CDOCT to measure retinal blood flow pulsatility in humans.



Main outcome measures

Time-resolved flow profiles and images of retinal blood flow dynamics for measurement of pulsatility within retinal vessels.


Rapid sequences of images were acquired over selected vessels near the optic nerve head. From these images, retinal blood flow profiles were extracted and synchronized to an external reference obtained with a photoplethysmograph. Each profile was acquired in less than 10 milliseconds.


Our results indicate that CDOCT provides laser Doppler information in addition to conventional optical coherence tomography, allowing the observation of blood flow dynamics simultaneous to imaging retinal structure. CDOCT is a promising technology for research and clinical studies of retinal blood flow dynamics.

Clinical relevance

Blood flow dynamics, such as pulsatility and autoregulation, have been shown to change throughout the progression of diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Enabling CDOCT to observe retinal dynamics improves its potential as a clinical diagnostic tool.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Yazdanfar, S; Rollins, AM; Izatt, JA

Published Date

  • February 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 121 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 235 - 239

PubMed ID

  • 12583790

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-3601

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-9950

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1001/archopht.121.2.235


  • eng