Enhanced imaging algorithm for scanning laser polarimetry with variable corneal compensation

Nicolaas J Reus, Qienyuan Zhou, Hans G Lemij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


PURPOSE: To describe and investigate a method of improving assessment of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) morphology with scanning laser polarimetry (SLP) with variable corneal compensation (VCC).

METHODS: By neutralizing anterior segment birefringence with a variable compensator, the current VCC method allows direct measurement of RNFL retardation. In the new method, enhanced corneal compensation (ECC), the variable compensator was set to introduce a "bias" birefringence. This bias was removed mathematically for each individual pixel to produce the RNFL image. In 177 eyes of healthy subjects, patients with glaucoma, and subjects with ocular hypertension, retardation images were obtained with both VCC and ECC.

RESULTS: In the tested eyes, images obtained with ECC showed the expected RNFL appearance better than those obtained with VCC. In addition, the typical scan score, which quantifies the amount of atypia, was higher with ECC than with VCC. The amount of residual anterior segment birefringence dropped significantly with ECC in the various groups. Measurements of peripapillary RNFL retardation showed reduced temporal and nasal values with ECC, whereas superior and inferior values were not significantly different between VCC and ECC. The dynamic range appeared to have increased with ECC. The accuracy of the TSNIT (temporal, superior, nasal, inferior, temporal) average and inferior average for detecting glaucoma was higher with ECC than with VCC.

CONCLUSIONS: RNFL morphology may be better assessed with the presented ECC method than with standard VCC. ECC may be implemented in the current VCC systems by means of a software upgrade. It may enhance the clinical utility of the GDx VCC in glaucoma management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3870-7
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative ophthalmology & visual science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006


  • Algorithms
  • Birefringence
  • Cornea/physiology
  • Diagnostic Imaging/methods
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle/diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Lasers
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Fibers/pathology
  • Ocular Hypertension/diagnosis
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells/pathology
  • Visual Field Tests
  • Visual Fields


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