Special Issue on Optical Coherence Tomography in Clinical and Experimental Optometry

Recently my colleagues Bang Bui, Laura Downie and I put together a special issue for the journal Clinical and Experimental Optometry which was devoted entirely to the topic of optical coherence tomography (OCT).  This amazing imaging technology – which has only really been in clinical practice for the last decade – has revolutionized the way eye care practitioners detect and manage ocular disease.  Quite simply, it allows the clinician to visualize ocular pathology previously not detectable or only evident in advanced disease.


There are many interesting manuscripts in this special issue which help to demonstrate the significant role OCT now plays in the areas of ophthalmic research and clinical practice.  There are papers which highlight how OCT can play an important part in the diagnosis and management of common ocular conditions such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and high (pathological) myopia.  In addition to these established applications of OCT for evaluating the health of the eye, OCT has been used to develop a range of ophthalmic markers for neurological diseases (such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease) and there is an excellent review article on this topic – by outstanding researcher and close friend Nathan Efron and his colleague Sangeetha Srinivasasan – in the special issue.  Jon Ruddle and his associates have also written a very good paper outlining the application of OCT for diagnosing and monitoring paediatric eye conditions, and they also discuss the specific utility of hand-held OCT devices which provide added flexibility with respect to patient positioning when performing OCT on infants.


While initially OCT was used more examination of the posterior segment of the eye, there has also been a marked increase in the use of anterior segment OCT (AS-OCT) for imaging the ocular surface, cornea and anterior chamber.  Wang and fellow authors present a broad literature review on this topic which also provides a summary of a range of clinical applications for AS-OCT, from tear film assessment (in dry eye) to intra-ocular tumour diagnosis.  There is a very good paper by Harry Yip and Elsie Chan which outlines how AS-OCT is important in diagnosing early keratoconus and how it also has an important role in surgical treatments for keratoconus, such as corneal collagen cross-linking, intrastromal corneal ring segments and corneal transplantation.  My good friend Steve Vincent and his colleagues also review the potential use of AS-OCT imaging in modern scleral contact lens practice, including initial lens selection, assessment of the lens fit and quantifying the ocular response to contact lens wear.


The good news about this special issue on OCT is that the publishers have kindly made it free access so that it is open to everyone.  Just go to the link https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/14440938/2019/102/3