Purpose: The purpose of this study was to characterize age-related changes in anterior human vitreous with 3-D swept source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) and evaluate associations with axial length (AL) and contrast sensitivity function (CSF).
Methods: There were 49 phakic eyes in 49 patients (40.0 ± 19.3 years) had 3-D volumetric scanning of the lens and retrolental vitreous with SS-OCT at 1050 nm. OCT-derived indices of vitreous optical density (VOD), vitreous opacification ratio (VOR), and lens optical density (LOD) were correlated with AL and double-pass assessment of retinal point spread function (Objective Scatter Index [OSI]). CSF was measured using an adaptive-optics visual simulator (area under log-log contrast sensitivity function [AULCSF]).
Results: Vitreous SS-OCT detected gel vitreous, liquefied lacunae, Berger’s space, retrolental laminae, and fibrous opacifications. VOD, VOR, and LOD showed high reproducibility (intraclass correlation coefficients 0.968, 0.975, and 0.998, respectively). VOD was highly correlated with VOR (Pearson’s R = 0.96, P < 0.000001). VOD, VOR, and LOD correlated with age (R = 0.48, 0.58, and 0.85, P < 0.001 for each). VOR and LOD correlated with OSI (R = 0.36, P = 0.0094, and R = 0.36, P = 0.0096, respectively). VOR correlated negatively with AULCSF (R = −0.53, P < 0.00009), which was related to OSI. Myopic eyes had higher OSI than nonmyopic eyes (P = 0.0121), consistent with correlation between OSI and AL (R = 0.37, P = 0.0091). Multivariable regression confirmed these findings.
Conclusions: SS-OCT visualized microstructural features of anterior human vitreous, where opacification is associated with increased light scattering and CSF degradation. SS-OCT enables high-resolution optical evaluation of vitreous opacities.