Retinal capillary oximetry with visible light optical coherence tomography

Shaohua Pi, Tristan T. Hormel, Xiang Wei, William Cepurna, Bingjie Wang, John C. Morrison, Yali Jia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Assessing oxygen saturation (sO2) remains challenging but is nonetheless necessary for understanding retinal metabolism. We and others previously achieved oximetry on major retinal vessels and measured the total retinal oxygen metabolic rate in rats using visible-light optical coherence tomography. Here we extend oximetry measurements to capillaries and investigate all three retinal vascular plexuses by amplifying and extracting the spectroscopic signal from each capillary segment under the guidance of optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiography. Using this approach, we measured capillary sO2 in the retinal circulation in rats, demonstrated reproducibility of the results, validated the measurements in superficial capillaries with known perfusion pathways, and determined sO2 responses to hypoxia and hyperoxia in the different retinal capillary beds. OCT capillary oximetry has the potential to provide new insights into the retinal circulation in the normal eye as well as in retinal vascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11658
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 26 2020


  • Blood oxygenation
  • Capillary oximetry
  • Retinal capillary
  • Vascular biology and physiology
  • Visible light OCT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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