Laser scanning tomography can be used to assess retinal nerve fiber layer thickness and optic disc topography of the human eye. A pinhole is located at a plane conjugate to the focal plane of the scanning laser beam. This so-called confocal configuration assures that only the light originating from the illuminated focal plane on the retina passes through the pinhole and is detected by the photomultiplier. Consequently, images with high spatial resolution in all directions are obtained. An active optical system (active mirror) further improves the lateral/depth resolution of the laser tomographic scanner. By partially compensating for the optical aberrations introduced by the cornea and lens, the active optical system allows the illuminating beam to be enlarged to 6 mm, thus improving depth resolution twofold.
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