Ocular Imaging

Highly trained OSOD ophthalmologists and imaging technicians are available to document the appearance of basic ocular structures such as the external eye, anterior segment, and retina throughout the life of a study. State-of-the-art digital cameras, cutting-edge imaging equipment, and advanced imaging procedures allow color fundus imaging, fluorescein angiography, fundus autofluorescence, and cross-sectional imaging of the anterior and posterior segment.

OSOD's imaging team members are highly skilled, and many are routinely engaged in clinical photography of human patients. Many are also skilled teachers, having trained or certified many of the photographers involved in large-scale human clinical trials.

Our Ocular Imaging Team

Hugh D. Wabers, BA (Director, Imaging)

Carol Rasmussen, MS (Director, OCT Services)

Michael W. Neider, BA

T. Michael Nork, MS, MD

Ronald P. Danis, MD, PhD 

Yijun Huang, PhD

Ellison Bentley, DVM, DACVO

Michael Altaweel, MD

Larry Hubbard, MS 

Anne Goulding, BA 

Nathan Diers, BS 

Monica Motta, BS, CVT, RLAT 


OSOD has the ability to use either film or digital imaging modalities in our studies at Labcorp and in our university-based studies. OSOD members are also integral in industry-wide efforts to standardize digital imaging across equipment manufacturers to assure and optimize data integrity.

At OSOD, all color fundus photographs, fluorescein angiograms, and OCT images are evaluated and graded by a retinal specialist. 

External Photography

External photography is used to document pathology of the eyelids, ocular adnexa, ocular surface, and anterior segment. High resolution images effectively document the color, size, position, and extent of lesions within external and anterior ocular structures.

Color Fundus Photography

OSOD specialists work independently or in collaboration with fundus photograph reading centers to:

  • Document the appearance of the retina for GLP and GCP studies.
  • Consult in the design, conduct, and analysis of multi-center clinical trials and epidemiologic studies that use ophthalmic imaging.
  • Apply a large array of digital and film-based fundus cameras for imaging the retina, including the Micron III (Phoenix Labs Inc), for photographing the fundus in mice and rats.

Fluorescein Angiography

Fluorescein angiography is used to assess the integrity of the retinal and choroidal vasculature. In pre-clinical studies it has been particularly useful in assessing the efficacy of anti-VEGF compounds in the laser animal model of AMD.

Fundus Autofluorescence

Fundus autofluorescence imaging has been shown to be a useful tool to document metabolic changes at the level of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), suggesting areas of high risk for visual function loss.

Slit Lamp Photomicrography

Slit lamp photomicrography is used to document the health of the adnexa and anterior segment, including finite evaluation of specific layers of the cornea and lens, and microscopic features of the iris as observed through a slit lamp biomicroscope.

The anterior chamber and trabecular meshwork can also be imaged using a variety of gonioscopic lenses. This procedure is suitable for a wide variety of species in pre-clinical studies, as well as clinical research.

Anterior Segment Optical Coherence Tomography (AS-OCT)

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive imaging technique that provides three-dimensional and cross-sectional views of ocular structures with a resolution that approaches that of light microscopy. OCT is widely used clinically for diagnosis and longitudinal monitoring of many retinal disorders.

Anterior segment optical coherence tomography utilizes semi-coherent light with high absorption and low penetration, allowing visualization and assessment of the shape, size and position of anterior segment structures including the cornea, iris, and lens. In preclinical studies, it is often used for longitudinal evaluations of the cornea, anterior chamber angle, iris, and lens. At OSOD, we have experience acquiring high-quality AS-OCT images using the Heidelberg Spectralis® in tandem with an anterior segment lens, or with the Visante® AS-OCT unit (Zeiss-Meditec).  

Posterior Segment Optical Coherence Tomography

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive imaging technique that provides three-dimensional and cross-sectional views of ocular structures in the posterior segment including the retinal layers, vitreous, and portions of the choroid and optic nerve.

OCT is widely used clinically for diagnosis and longitudinal monitoring. It is particularly useful in the evaluation of macular edema, macular holes, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Preclinically, OCT is used for visualizing the posterior segment and assessing changes in retinal layers in drug safety studies. In tandem with our colleagues at MERIT CRO, Inc., OSOD has developed, validated, and published a semi-automated protocol for accurate segmentation and measurement of retinal layer thicknesses in both human patients and laboratory species.  

OSOD primarily uses the Heidelberg Spectralis® instrument for acquisition of OCT images in preclinical studies.

Specular Photomicroscopy

Specular photomicroscopy is used to assess the integrity of the corneal endothelium.­ The instrument provides an image of the individual cells of the endothelial layer and determines cell counts, size, shape and organization. The presence of abnormal cellular organization may indicate the presence of toxicity to the corneal endothelium. OSOD uses both the Topcon SP-300™ contact system and the Konan CellChek XL™ for projects requiring specular microscopy.

Ocular Ultrasound

The use of high frequencies has greatly increased the spatial resolution of non-invasive ultrasound.

High resolution ultrasound instruments are used to visualize lesions in the anterior segment, including the iridocorneal angle, as well as the posterior segment.

Ultrasound biomicroscopy is used to produce images of anterior segment structures or sub-surface lesions. This technique has proven useful in imaging conjunctival, lacrimal, and eyelid pathology, and in detecting and measuring anterior segment lesions.

Optic Nerve/Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Imaging

OSOD has experience with and access to both of the following instruments, if needed, for assessing the optic nerve/retinal nerve fiber layer.

Scanning Laser Polarimetry (GDxVCC, GDxECC)

This instrument provides a measurement of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) based on its birefringence, or change in angle of polarized light. Changes in polarization (retardance) are correlated with changes in retinal nerve fiber layer thickness. GDx polarimetry measurements, with enhanced corneal compensation, are used in glaucoma research and are feasible in pre-clinical development studies.

Heidelberg Retinal Tomograph (HRT)

This instrument is a confocal laser scanning system that creates a 3-D surface map (topography) of the retinal surface from the change in reflectance in a series of 2-D scans. Confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (CSLO) is used to measure the surface configuration of the retinal nerve fiber layer, and various parameters of the optic nerve head and to identify and track progression of changes in the eye due to glaucoma.


If you have any questions about our ocular imaging services, do not hesitate to CONTACT US.