The visibility of retinal microvasculature in optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) images is negatively affected by the small dimension of the capillaries, pulsatile blood flow, and motion artifacts. Serial acquisition and time-averaging of multiple OCT-A images can enhance the definition of the capillaries and result in repeatable and consistent visualization. We demonstrate an automated method for registration and averaging of serially acquired OCT-A images. Ten OCT-A volumes from six normal control subjects were acquired using our prototype 1060-nm swept source OCT system. The volumes were divided into microsaccade-free en face angiogram strips, which were affine registered using scale-invariant feature transform keypoints, followed by nonrigid registration by pixel-wise local neighborhood matching. The resulting averaged images were presented of all the retinal layers combined, as well as in the superficial and deep plexus layers separately. The contrast-to-noise ratio and signal-to-noise ratio of the angiograms with all retinal layers (reported as average±standard deviation) increased from 0.52±0.22 and 19.58±4.04dB for a single image to 0.77±0.25 and 25.05±4.73dB, respectively, for the serially acquired images after registration and averaging. The improved visualization of the capillaries can enable robust quantification and study of minute changes in retinal microvasculature.
|Journal||Journal of Biomedical Optics|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2017|