Swept source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) is being used more widely in clinical studies to investigate the choroid due to its deeper penetration under the retinal pigment epithelium and improved image quality compared with spectral domain OCT. However, automatic methods to reliably assess choroidal thickness and vasculature are still limited. This paper reports an approach that applies attenuation correction on SS-OCT structural scans to facilitate accurate automatic segmentation of the choroid and provides visualization of the choroidal vasculature without the necessity of OCT angiography. After attenuation correction, enhanced interlayer contrast at the choroidal-scleral interface was observed (from 0.13 ± 0.05 to 0.29 ± 0.10; P < 0.001). An algorithm that segmented the choroid from attenuation compensated B-scans achieved significantly higher accuracy when compared with an automated segmentation performed on regular OCT scans (91.8 ± 3.7% vs.74.5 ± 8.0%; P < 0.01). After attenuation correction, en face images of choroidal vessels were achieved with fewer artifacts from retinal vessels. Measurements of mean choroidal thickness and vessel density showed high repeatability. The attenuation correction assisted segmentation of the choroid and visualization of the choroidal vasculature will be helpful in studying the quantitative changes that occur in a myriad of diseases involving the choroid such as age-related macular degeneration, polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy, pathologic myopia, central serous chorioretinopathy, and inflammatory eye conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics