To develop a method of averaging optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiography to improve visualization of choriocapillaris structure.
A stack of OCT angiographic data from vascular layers were placed into the red-green-blue channels of a conventional digital color image. The superficial plexus was placed in the blue channel, choriocapillaris in the green, and deep vascular plexus in the red channel. The red-green-blue images derived from nine separate OCT angiographic scans were registered using an automatic registration sequence and the images were averaged. The averaged red-green-blue image was then split into the three averaged component layers. The technique is flexible and any vascular layer, such as macular neovascularization, can be used as well.
The utility of the imaging method was demonstrated by showing the imaging of two different diseases. A patient with a history of familial amyloidosis, hypertension, kidney failure, kidney transplantation, and prednisone use, followed by central serous chorioretinopathy treated by photodynamic therapy. She had alterations in retinal pigment epithelial pigmentation and widespread abnormalities of autofluorescence. She showed remarkably decreased vascular density and vessel configuration of her choriocapillaris. A patient with pseudoxanthoma elasticum with subretinal drusenoid deposits at an early age also showed marked decreased choriocapillaris density and vascular configuration. These findings were compared with healthy controls of similar age with no abnormalities.
The detailed method is capable of averaging choriocapillaris OCT angiographic images using a simple automatic method. Image averaging offers opportunity to improve the noisy OCT angiographic images such that actual vascular structure is visible.