Quantitative measures of corneal transparency, derived from objective analysis of depth-resolved corneal images, demonstrated with full-field optical coherence tomographic microscopy

Romain Bocheux, Pascal Pernot, Vincent Borderie, Karsten Plamann, Kristina Irsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Loss of corneal transparency, as occurs with various pathologies, infections, immune reactions, trauma, aging, and surgery, is a major cause of visual handicap worldwide. However, current means to assess corneal transparency are extremely limited and clinical and eye-bank practice usually involve a subjective and qualitative observation of opacities, sometimes with comparison against an arbitrary grading scale, by means of slit-lamp biomicroscopy. Here, we describe a novel objective optical data analysis-based method that enables quantifiable and standardized characterization of corneal transparency from depth-resolved corneal images, addressing the demand for such a means in both the laboratory and clinical ophthalmology setting. Our approach is based on a mathematical analysis of the acquired optical data with respect to the light attenuation from scattering processes in the corneal stroma. Applicable to any depth-resolved corneal imaging modality, it has been validated by means of full-field optical coherence tomographic microscopy (FF-OCT or FF-OCM). Specifically, our results on ex-vivo corneal specimens illustrate that 1) in homogeneous tissues, characterized by an exponential light attenuation with stromal depth (z), the computation of the scattering mean-free path (ls) from the rate of exponential decay allows quantification of the degree of transparency; 2) in heterogeneous tissues, identified by significant deviations from the normal exponential z -profile, a measure of exponential-decay model inadequacy (e.g., by computation of the Birge ratio) allows the estimation of severity of stromal heterogeneity, and the associated depth-dependent variations around the average ls enables precise localization of the pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0221707
JournalPloS one
Volume14
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Transparency
Microscopy
microscopy
Microscopic examination
Eye Banks
Pathology
Corneal Stroma
Light
Ophthalmology
deterioration
Antigen-antibody reactions
Observation
Scattering
Tissue
ophthalmology
opacity
Wounds and Injuries
Opacity
Infection
Electric lamps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Quantitative measures of corneal transparency, derived from objective analysis of depth-resolved corneal images, demonstrated with full-field optical coherence tomographic microscopy. / Bocheux, Romain; Pernot, Pascal; Borderie, Vincent; Plamann, Karsten; Irsch, Kristina.

In: PloS one, Vol. 14, No. 8, e0221707, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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