Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Davis

UC Davis Previously Published Works bannerUC Davis

In Vivo Imaging of Retinal and Choroidal Morphology and Vascular Plexuses of Vertebrates Using Swept-Source Optical Coherence Tomography



To perform in vivo evaluation of the structural morphology and vascular plexuses of the neurosensory retina and choroid across vertebrate species using swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) and SS-OCT angiography (SS-OCTA) imaging.


A custom-built SS-OCT system with an incorporated flexible imaging arm was used to acquire the three-dimensional (3D) retinal OCT and vascular OCTA data of five different vertebrates: a mouse (C57BL/6J), a rat (Long Evans), a gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica), a white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus), and a great horned owl (Bubo virginianus).


In vivo structural morphology of the retina and choroid, as well as en face OCTA images of retinal and choroidal vasculature of all species were generated. The retinal morphology and vascular plexuses were similar between rat and mouse, whereas distinct choroidal and paired superficial vessels were observed in the opossum retina. The retinal and vascular structure of the sturgeon, as well as the pecten oculi and overlying the avascular and choroidal vasculature in the owl retina are reported in vivo.


A high-quality two-dimensional and 3D in vivo visualization of the retinal structures and en face visualization of the retina and choroidal vascular plexus of vertebrates was possible. Our studies affirm that SS-OCT and SS-OCTA are viable methods for evaluating the in vivo retinal and choroidal structure across terrestrial, aquatic, and aerial vertebrates.

Translational relevance

In vivo characterization of retinal morphology and vasculature plexus of multiple species using SS-OCT and SS-OCTA imaging can increase the pool of species available as models of human retinal diseases.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View