Optical Coherence Tomography in Cornea and Refractive Surgery

Volkan Hurmeric; Sonia H Yoo; Fatih Mehmet Mutlu


Expert Rev Ophthalmol. 2012;7(3):241-250. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is the most promising imaging technique used in ophthalmology today. Noninvasive, noncontact and having quick image acquisition makes OCT a requirement in ophthalmology practice. OCT can be used to gain cross-sectional images of the anterior and posterior segment of the eye. In cornea and refractive surgery anterior segment OCT (AS-OCT) is used in presurgical planning and postsurgical evaluation. AS-OCT is especially needed in phakic intraocular lens implantation, laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis enhancement and lamellar keratoplasty. There are also various promising advancements in AS-OCT imaging, such as intraoperative OCT and ultra-high-resolution OCT. These techniques offer new therapeutic and diagnostic options with increased resolution and improved scanning time.


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a noninvasive, noncontact, in vivo imaging technique based on low-coherence interferometry.[1,2] The principle of OCT is similar to ultrasound; however, it uses reflection of light from biological tissues. OCT is used for reproducible cross-sectional imaging of ocular tissues.[3,4] OCT has gained widespread practice in ophthalmology for both research and clinical applications in recent years.

The first visualization of the cornea and anterior segment by OCT was reported in 1994 and the first retinal OCT system became commercially available in 1995.[3] The success of OCT in retinal diseases allowed the development of anterior segment OCT (AS-OCT) systems; however, the first commercial AS-OCT was not available until 2001. Since then AS-OCT systems have given ophthalmologists new perspectives and abilities in the management of corneal and refractive problems. In this review, we will describe the clinical applications of AS-OCT in cornea and refractive surgery. We will also focus on recent advancements and discuss future directions in this field.