Subretinal fibrosis detection using polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography

Maximilian G.O. Gräfe, Jacoba A. van de Kreeke, Joy Willemse, Boy Braaf, Yvonne de Jong, H. Stevie Tan, Frank D. Verbraak, Johannes F. de Boer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: Subretinal fibrosis (SRFib) is an important cause of permanent loss-of-vision diseases with submacular neovascularization, but a reliable diagnostic method is currently missing. This study uses polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) to detect SRFib within retinal lesions by measurement of its birefringent colla-gen fibers. Methods: Twenty-five patients were enrolled with retinal pathology in one or both eyes containing (1) suspected SRFib, (2) lesions suspected not to be fibrotic, or (3) lesions with doubtful presence of SRFib. All eyes were evaluated for SRFIb using conventional diagnostics by three retinal specialists. PS-OCT images were visually evaluated for SRFib based on cumulative phase retardation, local birefringence, and optic axis uniformity. Results: Twenty-nine eyes from 22 patients were scanned successfully. In 13 eyes, SRFib was diagnosed by all retinal specialists; of these, 12 were confirmed by PS-OCT and one was inconclusive. In nine eyes, the retinal specialists expected no SRFib, which was confirmed by PS-OCT in all cases. In seven eyes, the retinal specialists’ evaluations were inconsistent with regard to the presence of SRFib. PS-OCT confirmed the presence of SRFib in four of these eyes and the absence of SRFib in two eyes and was inconclusive in one eye. Conclusions: In 21 out of 22 eyes, PS-OCT confirmed the evaluation of retinal specialists regarding the presence of SRFib. PS-OCT provided additional information to distinguish SRFib from other tissues within subretinal neovascular lesions in 6 out of 7 eyes. Translational Relevance: PS-OCT can identify and quantify SRFib in doubtful cases for which a reliable diagnosis is currently lacking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Cite this