Retinal oximetry in humans using visible-light optical coherence tomography [invited]

Siyu Chen, Xiao Shu, Peter L. Nesper, Wenzhong Liu, Amani A. Fawzi, Hao F. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We measured hemoglobin oxygen saturation (sO2) in the retinal circulation in healthy humans using visible-light optical coherence tomography (vis-OCT). The measurements showed clear oxygenation differences between central retinal arteries and veins close to the optic nerve head. Spatial variations at different vascular branching levels were also revealed. In addition, we presented theoretical and experimental results to establish that noises in OCT intensity followed Rice distribution. We used this knowledge to retrieve unbiased estimation of true OCT intensity to improve the accuracy of vis-OCT oximetry, which had inherently lower signal-to-nose ratio from human eyes due to safety and comfort limitations. We demonstrated that the new statistical-fitting sampling strategy could reduce the estimation error in sO2 by three percentage points (pp). The presented work aims to provide a foundation for using vis-OCT to achieve accurate retinal oximetry in clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number#281286
Pages (from-to)1415-1429
Number of pages15
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Functional monitoring and imaging
  • Ophthalmology
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Speckle
  • Spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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