High-Resolution Optical Coherence Tomography as an Adjunctive Tool in the Diagnosis of Corneal and Conjunctival Pathology

Afshan A. Nanji, Fouad E. Sayyad, Anat Galor, Sander Dubovy, Carol L. Karp

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Purpose To evaluate the use of a commercially available, high-resolution, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (HR-OCT) device in the diagnosis of corneal and conjunctival pathologies, with a focus on malignant lesions. Methods Eighty-two eyes of 71 patients were enrolled in this prospective case series, including 10 normal eyes, 21 with ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN), 24 with a pterygium or pingueculum, 3 with lymphoma, 18 with pigmented conjunctival lesions (nevus, flat melanosis, or melanoma), and 6 with Salzmann nodular degeneration. Subjects were imaged using photography and HR-OCT (RTVue, Optovue, Fremont, CA). When clinically indicated, surgery was performed and histopathologic specimens were correlated with OCT images. Results HR-OCT was useful in differentiating among various lesions based on optical signs. Specifically, in OSSN, HR-OCT findings included epithelial thickening and hyper-reflectivity, whereas pterygia and pinguecula showed a subepithelial mass under thinner epithelium. In lymphoma, a hypo-reflective, homogenous subepithelial mass was observed. Differentiating between pigmented lesions with HR-OCT was more difficult, but certain characteristics could be identified. Eyes with nevi and melanoma both displayed intensely hyper-reflective basal epithelial layers and discrete subepithelial lesions, but could be differentiated by the presence of cysts in nevi and intense shadowing of sublesional tissue in most melanomas. Conclusion We found that a commercially available HR-OCT was a useful noninvasive adjunctive tool in the diagnosis of ocular surface lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number126
Pages (from-to)226-235
Number of pages10
JournalOcular Surface
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • High-resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • RTVue
  • lymphoma
  • melanoma
  • neoplasia
  • ocular surface lesions
  • ocular surface squamous neoplasia
  • pterygium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


Dive into the research topics of 'High-Resolution Optical Coherence Tomography as an Adjunctive Tool in the Diagnosis of Corneal and Conjunctival Pathology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this