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The Properties of Outer Retinal Band Three Investigated With Adaptive-Optics Optical Coherence Tomography.

  • Author(s): Jonnal, Ravi S
  • Gorczynska, Iwona
  • Migacz, Justin V
  • Azimipour, Mehdi
  • Zawadzki, Robert J
  • Werner, John S
  • et al.


Optical coherence tomography's (OCT) third outer retinal band has been attributed to the zone of interdigitation between RPE cells and cone outer segments. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the structure of this band with adaptive optics (AO)-OCT.


Using AO-OCT, images were obtained from two subjects. Axial structure was characterized by measuring band 3 thickness and separation between bands 2 and 3 in segmented cones. Lateral structure was characterized by correlation of band 3 with band 2 and comparison of their power spectra. Band thickness and separation were also measured in a clinical OCT image of one subject.


Band 3 thickness ranged from 4.3 to 6.4 μm. Band 2 correlations ranged between 0.35 and 0.41 and power spectra of both bands confirmed peak frequencies that agree with histologic density measurements. In clinical images, band 3 thickness was between 14 and 19 μm. Measurements of AO-OCT of interband distance were lower than our corresponding clinical OCT measurements.


Band 3 originates from a structure with axial extent similar to a single surface. Correlation with band 2 suggests an origin within the cone photoreceptor. These two observations indicate that band 3 corresponds predominantly to cone outer segment tips (COST). Conventional OCT may overestimate both the thickness of band 3 and outer segment length.

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