Optical coherence tomography: a window to the brain?

First described in 1991 and introduced into clinical practice in 1996, optical coherence tomography (OCT) now has a very extensive role in many different areas of ophthalmological practice. It is non-invasive, cheap, highly reproducible, widely available and easy to perform. OCT also has a role in managing patients with neurological disorders, particularly idiopathic intracranial hypertension. This review provides an overview of the technology underlying OCT and the information it can provide that is relevant to the practising neurologist. Particular conditions discussed include papilloedema, optic disc drusen, multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica, other optic neuropathies, compression of the anterior visual pathway and various neurodegenerative conditions.

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