Heidelberg's high-speed retinal imaging device receives US clearance
6 November 2006
Heidelberg, Germany. Heidelberg Engineering GmbH has
been granted US clearance for its groundbreaking Spectralis HRA+OCT retinal
imaging device. The company claims it is the first commercial retinal imager
to combine a spectral domain optical coherence tomograph (OCT) with laser
This ground breaking development provides clinicians with
unprecedented details of the structure of the retina. This new product
detects previously unrecognized structures, combining high resolution
cross-sectional images of the retina with any of four imaging modalities:
autofluorescence, infrared, fluorescein angiography, or ICG angiography.
||The Spectralis HRA+OCT is 100 times
faster than time domain OCT offering greater detail and revealing
previously unseen retinal structures. (Graphic: Business Wire)
The new device scans the retina 100 times faster than older existing
technology known as time domain OCT. The Spectralis HRA+OCT is a spectral
domain system, sometimes called fourier domain, which scans the retina at
40,000 scans per second, creating highly detailed images of the structure of
Because the OCT and Heidelberg Retina Angiograph (HRA) images
are captured simultaneously, the clinician can be assured of the exact
location of the area of interest and can correlate the outer visible retina
structure with the internal structure.
“This new technology represents a dramatic leap in our ability to image
complex macular disease,” said Scott Cousins, MD, director, Duke Center for
Macular Diseases, at Duke University. “The combination of these two cutting
edge technologies will amplify our understanding of retinal structure and
provide us with new insights into the biological processes of the retina.”
The new product is built on the company’s successful Heidelberg Retina
Angiograph (HRA) platform, the first commercial angiography system to use
lasers in combination with marker dyes such as sodium fluorescein and
indocyanine green (ICG). Using the HRA instead of white light photography
has allowed clinicians to capture detailed images of the blood vessel
structure within the retina, a key diagnostic indicator for such common eye
disease as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic maculopathy.
Another advantage of using lasers is the fast frame rate which enables
movies of the blood flow, adding a new diagnostic dimension over traditional
Of recent interest is the HRA’s capability to cause certain
retinal components to fluoresce in a process known as autofluorescence.
Geographic atrophy of age-related macular degeneration is being followed
using autofluorescence as a potential early indicator of disease progression
in the recently announced AREDS 2 clinical trial.
The new product will be
presented at the upcoming American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting in
November. The company expects to begin shipping the product in mid-2007.