Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) was one of the biggest advances in ophthalmic imaging. Building on that platform, OCT angiography (OCTA) provides depth resolved images of blood flow in the retina and choroid with levels of detailed far exceeding that obtained with older forms of imaging. This new modality is challenging because of the need for new equipment and processing techniques, current limitations of imaging capability, and rapid advancements in both imaging and in our understanding of the imaging and applicable pathophysiology of the retina and choroid, and the requirement for understanding the origins of image artifacts. These factors lead to a steep learning curve, even for those with a working understanding dye-based ocular angiography. All for a method of imaging that is a little more than 10 years old. This review begins with the underlying principals of OCTA. This forms the basis to understand what OCTA images show as well as how image artifacts arise. The anatomy and imaging of specific vascular layers of the eye are reviewed. The integration of OCTA in multimodal imaging in the evaluation of retinal vascular occlusive diseases, diabetic retinopathy, uveitis, inherited diseases, age-related macular degeneration, and disorders of the optic nerve is presented. OCTA is an exciting, disruptive technology. Its use is rapidly expanding in clinical practice as well as for research into the pathophysiology of diseases of the posterior pole.