Choroid development and feasibility of choroidal imaging in the preterm and term infants utilizing SD-OCT

Tomas A. Moreno, Rachelle V. O'Connell, Stephanie J. Chiu, Sina Farsiu, Michelle T. Cabrera, Ramiro S. Maldonado, Du Tran-Viet, Sharon F. Freedman, David K. Wallace, Cynthia A. Toth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To determine whether choroidal imaging is feasible in preterm and term infants using an 840-nm portable spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) system without the use of enhanced-depth imaging techniques and to assess choroidal development by comparing choroidal thickness of preterm infants, term infants, and adults. METHODS. SD-OCT images were obtained from 86 preterm infants, 59 term infants, and nine adults using a portable SD-OCT system plus nine adults using a tabletop system. An unprocessed image across the macula from one randomly selected eye of each participant was selected for determination of whether the choroidal-scleral junction (CSJ) could be visualized and for measurement of choroidal thickness. RESULTS. Subfoveal CSJ was visualized in 96% of young-preterm infants (imaged from 30-36 weeks postmenstrual age [PMA]); 78% of term-aged preterm infants (imaged from 37-42 weeks PMA); 49% of term infants; and 39% of adult subjects. Racial pigmentation did not affect CSJ visibility in young-preterm infants (P = 0.57). Subfoveal choroidal thickness (SFCT) in young-preterm infants, term-aged preterm infants, term infants, and adults was 176 ± 53 lm, 289 ± 92 lm, 329 ± 66 lm, and 258 ± 66 lm, respectively, and these were all statistically significantly different from one another except term-aged preterms to adults. CONCLUSIONS. Infant choroid can be imaged with a portable SD-OCT system without enhanced depth imaging. Melanin in the RPE and choroid does not hinder outer choroidal imaging in young-preterm infants without advanced retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). In preterm infants, choroidal thickness increased with age but was thinner when compared to term infants suggesting delayed development due to ROP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4140-4147
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 25 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Choroid
  • Ocular development
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Retinopathy of prematurity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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    Moreno, T. A., O'Connell, R. V., Chiu, S. J., Farsiu, S., Cabrera, M. T., Maldonado, R. S., Tran-Viet, D., Freedman, S. F., Wallace, D. K., & Toth, C. A. (2013). Choroid development and feasibility of choroidal imaging in the preterm and term infants utilizing SD-OCT. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 54(6), 4140-4147.