Abstract

To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of in vivo depth-resolved birefringence measurements of the human retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) by use of polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT). Because glaucoma causes nerve fiber layer damage, which may cause loss of retinal birefringence, PS-OCT is a potentially useful technique for the early detection of glaucoma. We built a fiber-based PS-OCT setup that produces quasi-real-time images of the human retina in vivo. Preliminary measurements of a healthy volunteer showed that the double-pass phase retardation per unit depth of the RNFL near the optic nerve head is 39±6°/100 µm.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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