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Optical coherence tomography: a window to the brain?
  1. Clare Fraser1,
  2. Christian J Lueck2,3
  1. 1 Ophthalmology, The University of Sydney Save Sight Institute, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2 Neurology, Canberra Hospital, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  3. 3 Medical School, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christian J Lueck, Neurology, Canberra Hospital, Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia; christian.lueck{at}


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.

  • benign intracranial hypertension
  • neuroophthalmology
  • ophthalmology
  • vision

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  • Contributors Both authors contributed equally to the design, writing and editing of this article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned. Externally peer reviewed by Susan Mollan, Birmingham, UK and Mark Lawden, Leicester, UK.

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  • Editors’ commentary
    Phil E M Smith Geraint N Fuller

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