Correlation with OCT and histology of photocoagulation lesions in patients and rabbits

Stefan Koinzer*, Mark Saeger, Carola Hesse, Lea Portz, Susanne Kleemann, Kerstin Schlott, Ralf Brinkmann, Johann Roider

*Corresponding author for this work
14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To examine spectral domain optical coherence tomographic (OCT) and histological images from comparable retinal photocoagulation lesions in rabbits, and to correlate these images with comparable OCT images from patients. Methods: 508 rabbit lesions were examined by HE-stained paraffin histology. 1019 rabbit lesions versus 236 patient lesions were examined by OCT, all at the time-points 1 hr, 1 week and 4 weeks after photocoagulation. We analysed 100 μm lesions (in humans) and 133 μm lesions (in rabbits) of 200 ms exposures at powers titrated from the histological threshold up to intense damage. Lesions were matched according to morphological criteria. Results: Dome-shaped layer alterations, retinal infiltration by round, pigmented cells, outer nuclear layer interruption, and eventually full thickness retinal coagulation are detectable in histology and OCT. Horizontal damage extensions are found 1 times larger in OCT. More intense irradiation was necessary to induce comparable layer affection in rabbit OCT as in histology. Restoration of the inner retinal layers is only shown in the OCT images. Comparable primary lesions caused more pronounced OCT changes in patients than in rabbits during healing. Conclusions: Optical coherence tomographic images indicate different tissue changes than histologic images. After photocoagulation, they show wider horizontal damage diameters, but underestimate axial damage particularly during healing. Conclusions on retinal restoration should not be drawn from OCT findings alone. Retinal recovery after comparable initial lesions appears to be more complete in rabbit than in patient OCTs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2013


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