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Novel method using 3-dimensional segmentation in spectral domain-optical coherence tomography imaging in the chick reveals defocus-induced regional and time-sensitive asymmetries in the choroidal thickness

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 August 2016

Vision Science Group, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States of America
Department of Engineering and Computer Science, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, United States of America
Department of Engineering and Computer Science, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, United States of America
Department of Engineering and Computer Science, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, United States of America Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, United States of America
Vision Science Group, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States of America School of Optometry, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States of America
*Address correspondence to: Diane R. Nava, 17 Rue Moreau, 75012 Paris France. E-mail:


Studies into the mechanisms underlying the active emmetropization process by which neonatal refractive errors are corrected, have described rapid, compensatory changes in the thickness of the choroidal layer in response to imposed optical defocus. While high frequency A-scan ultrasonography, as traditionally used to characterize such changes, offers good resolution of central (on-axis) changes, evidence of local retinal control mechanisms make it imperative that more peripheral, off-axis changes also be tracked. In this study, we used in vivo high resolution spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) imaging in combination with the Iowa Reference Algorithms for 3-dimensional segmentation, to more fully characterize these changes, both spatially and temporally, in young, 7-day old chicks (n = 15), which were fitted with monocular +15 D defocusing lenses to induce choroidal thickening. With these tools, we were also able to localize the retinal area centralis, which was used as a landmark along with the ocular pectin in standardizing the location of scans and aligning them for subsequent analyses of choroidal thickness (CT) changes across time and between eyes. Values were derived for each of four quadrants, centered on the area centralis, and global CT values were also derived for all eyes. Data were compared with on-axis changes measured using ultrasonography. There were significant on-axis choroidal thickening that was detected after just one day of lens wear (∼190 µm), and regional (quadrant-related) differences in choroidal responses were also found, as well as global thickness changes 1 day after treatment. The ratio of global to on-axis choroidal thicknesses, used as an index of regional variability in responses, was also found to change significantly, reflecting the significant central changes. In summary, we demonstrated in vivo high resolution SD-OCT imaging, used in combination with segmentation algorithms, to be a viable and informative approach for characterizing regional (spatial), time-sensitive changes in CT in small animals such as the chick.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

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