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BACKGROUND: Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) is a new diagnostic non-invasive method by which the vascular structures of the retina and choroid can be visualized three-dimensionally without need for using fluorescence dyes. The technology of OCT-A is an advancement of the OCT. By means of more powerful software and hardware used for OCT-A not only morphological but also retinal and choroidal vascular perfusion analyses can be performed. In this article, the principles and applications of OCT-A are discussed and compared to other non-invasive diagnostic devices for visualization of the retinal and choroidal blood circulation. METHODS: This article is based on a selective literature review and analyses of own data. RESULTS: The advantages of OCT-A include easy application without the need for mydriasis or intravenous injection of fluorescence dyes and also the exact three-dimensional localization of vascular changes. In the case of retinal pathologies there is a considerable difference between software-assisted automatic segmentation and the real architecture of the retina, which must be taken into consideration in the clinical interpretation. CONCLUSION: Of all noninvasive devices for visualization of the retinal and choroidal circulation, OCT-A is the only one which can already be implemented into the clinical routine. With this novel imaging device retinal and choroidal alterations can be visualized in a depth- selective manner and without masking affects, such as pooling or staining phenomena.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





6 - 13


Angiography, Choroid, Imaging, Ocular blood circulation, Retina, Angiography, Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological, Humans, Image Enhancement, Retinal Diseases, Retinal Vessels, Technology Assessment, Biomedical, Tomography, Optical Coherence