Use of High-Resolution Optical Coherence Tomography in the Surgical Management of Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia: A Pilot Study

Carol L. Karp, Carolina Mercado, Nandini Venkateswaran, Marco Ruggeri, Anat Galor, Armando Garcia, Kavitha R. Sivaraman, Maria Paula Fernandez, Antonio Bermudez, Sander R. Dubovy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: To evaluate whether high-resolution optical coherence tomography (HR-OCT) can detect histologic tumor margins of ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN). Methods: Eight eyes of 8 patients with OSSN undergoing excision were studied prospectively. Immediately before surgery, the tumor was imaged using commercially available HR-OCT to identify the conjunctival margins of the neoplastic lesion. The tumor borders of the lesion determined by HR-OCT were mapped in relation to an anatomic reference point and transferred intraoperatively. The tumor was excised with 4-mm margins from the visible edge of the lesion with a “no-touch” technique. The specimens were sent for pathologic analysis and the histologic tumor margin was compared to the HR-OCT predicted tumor border. Results: Mean age of the 8 patients was 67 ± 9.9 years. Seven were male, 7 were white, and, ethnically, 3 were Hispanic. All 8 tumors were bulbar and in the exposure zone. Seven tumors were limbal. Corneal extension was present in 5. Mean tumor area was 17.5 ± 11.1 mm2. Clinically, 2 of the tumors were leukoplakic, 1 papillomatous, and 3 gelatinous. A conjunctival tumor margin identified with the HR-OCT coincided with the pathologically confirmed margin mark in all eyes. Conclusions: HR-OCT has the potential to predict histologic tumor margins in OSSN. Optical identification of tumor margins could potentially decrease the incidence of residual positive margins and minimize healthy tissue removal. Advances in HR-OCT technology and integration into a microscope for “real-time” imaging are needed to further improve this technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-31
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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