A versatile time-domain optical coherence tomography system is presented that can generate cross-sectional images by using either transverse priority or depth priority scanning. This is made possible by using a transmissive scanning delay line compatible with balance detection operating at a speed similar to that of the transverse scanner used to scan the beam across the target. In vivo images from the retina are generated and shown using the same system switched to either transverse or depth priority scanning regime, by using the scanning delay line either in slow or fast scanning modes, respectively. A comparative analysis of different scanning regimes depending on image size to fit different areas to be imaged is presented. Safety thresholds due to the different continuous irradiation time per transverse pixel in different scanning regimes are also considered. We present the maximum exposure level for a variety of scanning procedures, employing either A scanning (depth priority) or T scanning (transverse priority) when generating cross-sectional images, en face images, or collecting 3D volumes.
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