Casey Eye Institute researchers develop technology to address blindness

Yali Jia, Ph.D.

Researchers at OHSU’s Casey Eye Institute have developed a technology – optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiography – to better diagnose and manage the leading causes of blindness in the U.S. – retinal vascular diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, and glaucoma. According to research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, OCT provides a more precise and less invasive alternative to conventional dye-based retinal angiography used for screening and monitoring.

OCT angiography has been in development for years at various research centers around the world but Yali Jia Ph.D., study investigator and assistant professor of Ophthalmology, and David Huang, M.D., Ph.D., study investigator and Peterson Professor of Ophthalmology, both with the Casey Eye Institute, made a decisive breakthrough by developing an algorithm that improved the quality of this technique.

OCT angiography used in the study does not require injections and allows clinicians to measure various aspects of vascular function in a quantitative manner. Because it is non-invasive and provides three-dimensional images, OCT angiography is expected to be used more frequently in the future than two-dimensional dye-based angiography, the current standard.

David Huang, M.D., Ph.D.

The paper, “Quantitative optical coherence tomography angiography of vascular abnormalities in the living human eye,” was authored by a team of researchers at OHSU’s Casey Eye Institute as well as researchers from other institutions. A full listing can be found here.

 The story was covered in many news outlets, including the Portland Business Journal.