First Annual OCT Angiography Summit Signals a New Era in Imaging Technology
OCT Angiography: The Next Game Changer in OCT
Scientists, clinicians and engineers from throughout the world gathered in Portland, Oregon, USA for the first annual OCT Angiography Summit meeting. Participants spent the day sharing their knowledge and discussing applications of a breakthrough imaging technology that may someday transform the way we diagnose and care for patients with the most common causes of blindness, namely macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetes. Currently, these innovations are being applied in ophthalmology and are proving to be a superior alternative to dye-based methods for visualizing and measuring blood flow in the back of the eye.
A Tale of Two OCT Angiography Technologies from One City
A funny thing about the Summit, held in Portland, Oregon, is that the two technologies opening new doors in OCT angiography were developed in Portland. These two techs powered several of the findings presented at the Summit. Why not begin with the split-spectrum amplitude-decorrelation angiography algorithm (SSADA)? This patent-pending technique is exclusively licensed for ophthalmology use to Optovue, Inc. and powers the AngioVue™ product which is now on the market outside the U.S. Yali Jia and David Huang, the latter a co-inventor of optical coherence tomography (OCT) in the 1990’s, developed SSADA out of a deep interest in finding new and better ways to use OCT. The SSADA technology (owned by Oregon Health & Science University and available for licensing outside of ophthalmology) can map out the eye’s smallest capillaries and measure blood flow in about three seconds with high resolution.
Their Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) publication found that SSADA-based OCT angiography has considerable advantages over dye-based methods for managing eye disease. This month, their JAMA Ophthalmology publication shows that glaucoma can be better managed by using this technology to study blood flow in the back of the eye.
Yet, just as exciting, is Ruikang Wang’s ultrahigh sensitive optical microangiography technology (OMAG), a spot-on alternative and “competitor” to SSADA. OMAG is non-exclusively licensed to Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc. for ophthalmology use. This patented technique improves the signal-to-noise ratio of flow detection and enables the creation of detailed vascular connectivity images. OMAG has also shown promise in imaging blood perfusion within microcirculatory tissue beds in other applications, e.g. dermatology, neurology, and hearing research. Furthermore, by mere coincidence, Dr. Wang’s OMAG technology is also owned by Oregon Health & Science University and is available for licensing.
A New Era in Ophthalmic Imaging Technology
Despite conventional OCT’s significant advances in ophthalmic imaging, it has its limitations. Physicians can view fluid and swelling in the retina, but not the abnormal vessels that are the hallmarks of severe macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Only fluorescein angiography, which requires intravenous injection of a contrast dye, can illuminate these miniscule but destructive vessels. However, dye-based angiography can cause side effects such as nausea and vomiting. Furthermore, while abnormal blood vessel growth can be detected by dye leakage, the very same phenomenon can obscure vascular details.
OCT angiography visualizes blood vessels using intrinsic blood cell motion as contrast and does not require any dye injection. It produces detailed 3 dimensional images of both normal vascular network as well as abnormal growths. Because OCT angiography is faster, better, safer and less expensive, the technique is expected to vastly improve disease monitoring and treatment.
General Information on the OCT Angiography Summit
On July 25, 2105, scientists, clinicians, engineers, along with pharmaceutical and device companies gathered at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Casey Eye Institute to attend the first-ever international Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Angiography Summit. Participants of the event spent the day listening to high-level presentations from over 25 speakers from around the world. These presentations discussed new OCT technologies including hardware, algorithms, new understandings of the vascular anatomy of the eye, and applications in a wide variety of retinal diseases and glaucoma.
Interest in OCT angiography, as evidenced by the enthusiasm at this summit, is rapidly increasing. The event attracted over 160 attendees, from eleven states in the U.S. as well as nine countries outside of the U.S.
A Better Vision for the Future
David Huang, Yali Jia (co-inventor of SSADA), and Ruikang Wang continue to explore new ways to refine OCT angiography. This new era of imaging technology will surely lead to better management of eye diseases, helping preserve vision in millions of people here and abroad. And beyond the visual horizon lay the various untapped clinical applications that OCT angiography can serve. The inventors believe there is much more to come in these emerging new fields.
David Huang, M.D., Ph.D., is Peterson Professor of Ophthalmology, OHSU School of Medicine, OHSU Casey Eye Institute, where he leads the Center for Ophthalmic Optics and Laser. Known for his innovations in applying laser and optical technology to eye diseases, he received the prestigious Champalimaud Vision Award in 2012 for his central role in co-inventing OCT. He also is a recipient of the ARVO Jonas Friedenwald Award, and the Senior Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Ruikang Wang, Ph.D, is Professor of Bioengineering and Ophthalmology at University of Washington, Seattle, where he runs Biophotontics and Imaging Laboratory. He is a recipient of the Research to Prevent Blindness Innovative Research Award. He is an elected fellow of Optical Society of America (OSA), International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) and American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).
OHSU OCT Technologies Available for Licensing
For more information to license SSADA, OMAG, or one of the below OCT technologies, please contact Arvin Paranjpe, M.S., J.D. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-494-3210.
Full Range Complex OCT Imaging (#1080)
This technique provides a practical, yet simple and no-additional cost, solution to double the ranging distance for Fourier domain optical coherence tomography.
Ultrahigh Sensitive Optical Microangiography (#1476)
This method improves the signal-to-noise ratio of flow detection and enables the creation of detailed vascular connectivity images. This patented technique is non-exclusively licensed to Zeiss.
Split-Spectrum Amplitude Decorrelation Algorithm (#1715)
This method improves the signal-to-noise ratio of flow detection and enables the creation of detailed vascular connectivity images. This technology is already being used clinically by physicians outside the U.S. and is also being used for research in the U.S., where it awaits FDA approval for wider application. This patent-pending technique is exclusively licensed to Optovue and is used in Optovue’s current AngioVue product offering.
Aqueous Cell Differentiation in Anterior Uveitis (#1982)
A non-invasive OCT technique to determine the composition of aqueous inflammatory cells in anterior uveitis patients. This method can provide anterior chamber cell composition without a diagnostic aqueous tap.
Quantification of Vascular Abnormality with OCT Angiography (#2062)
This technique clearly visualizes and quantifies the critical vascular abnormalities in ocular diseases, such as retinal/choroidal neovascularization and retinal/choroidal ischemia.
Total Retinal Blood Flow OCT Technique (#2087)
This technique optimizes en face plane measurements for each vessel using Doppler OCT. By overcoming problems with oblique orientation and complex branching, the technique yielded intravisit TRBF repeatability of 8-9%.
Phase Gradient OCT Angiography (#2111)
Traditional phase-resolved OCT angiography methods are sensitive to phase noise. This invention provides solutions to the use of phase information when mapping the microvasculature.