Vascular Imaging

Diabetes and other retinal vascular diseases are a major cause of vision loss.  AO retinal imaging provides highly accurate and reproducible measures of both structural changes to the vascular walls of arterioles, and functional measures of blood flow and neurovascular coupling between visual stimulation and blood flow. By taking advantage of the precision of AO imaging we can make highly reproducible and accurate measurements of changes to retinal microvessels.


  •  Elsner,A.E., Miura, M., Burns, S.A., Beausencourt. E, Kunze C.,Kelley, L.M., Walker, J.P., Wing G. Raskauskas P.A., D.C. Fletcher D.C., Zhou Q. and Dreher A. “Multiply scattered light tomography and confocal imaging: detecting neovascularization in age-related macular degeneration” Optics Express 7, 95-106, 2000.
  •  Zhong, Z, Petrig, BL, Qi X and Burns SA “In vivo measurement of erythrocyte velocity and retinal blood flow using adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy” Optics Express Vol. 16, Issue 17, pp. 12746-12756 , 2008, PMCID: PMC2738983 
  •  Zhong Z, Song H, Chui TYP, Petrig BL, and Burns SA “Non-invasive measurements and analysis of blood velocity profiles in human retinal vessels”, Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science. June 10, 2011 vol. 52 no. 7 4151-4157 (2011), PMC3175937 
  •  Chui, T. Y. P., D. A. VanNasdale and S. A. Burns (2012). "The use of forward scatter to improve retinal vascular imaging with an adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope." Biomed. Opt. Express 3(10): 2537-2549. PMID: 23082294 PMCID: PMC3470005 
  •  Chui, T. Y. P., Gast, T.J. and Burns S.A. Imaging of vascular wall fine structure in human retina using adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopyInvest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Oct 29;54(10):7115-24. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-13027. PMID: 24071955 Biomed Opt Express, 2014. 5(3): p. 961-74. PMCID:3959854 
  •  Burns, S.A., A.E. Elsner, T.Y. Chui, D.A. Vannasdale, Jr., C.A. Clark, T.J. Gast, V.E. Malinovsky, and A.D. Phan, In vivo adaptive optics microvascular imaging in diabetic patients without clinically severe diabetic retinopathy. Biomed Opt Express, 2014. 5(3): p. 961-74. PMCID:3959854
  • de Castro Alberto, Huang Gang, Sawides, Lucie, Luo, Ting, Burns, Stephen A., Rapid high resolution imaging with a dual-channel scanning technique, Optics Letters: 2016 41(8) 1881-1884  PMID: 27082369 PMCID: PMC5535314
  • Fu X, Gens JS, Glazier JA, Burns SA, Gast TJ (2016) Progression of Diabetic Capillary Occlusion: A Model. PLoS Comput Biol 12(6): e1004932. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004932, PMID: 27300722 PMCID:4907516
  • Hillard, J, Gast TJ, Chui, TYP, Sapir D, Burns SA. Retinal Arterioles In Hypo-,Normo-, And Hypertensive Subjects Measured Using Adaptive Optics, Translational Vision Science & Technology August 2016, Vol.5, 16. doi:10.1167/tvst.5.4.16 PMC5015982 PMID: 27617182
  • Luo, T., Vermeer, T., Gast, T.J., Burns, S.A. Retinal Vasculature Branching Measured by AOSLO in Normal and Diabetic subjects, 2017 Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science Vol.58, 2685-2694. PMID: 28525557 PMCID: PMC6024667
  • Karst, S, Lammer, J Radwan S, Kwak H, Silva P, Burns SA, Aiello L, Sun, J. “Characterization of In Vivo Retinal Lesions of Diabetic Retinopathy Using Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy”, 2018, International Journal of Endocrinology Volume 2018, Article ID 7492946, 12 pages  PMCID: PMC5954931 29853882 PMCID: PMC5954931
  • Sapoznik, KA, Luo, T, de Castro, A, Sawides, L, Warner RL, Burns, SA. “Enhanced retinal vasculature imaging with a rapidly configurable aperture”, 2018, Biomedical Optics Express. Vol. 9, Issue 3, pp. 1323-1333 29541524 PMC5846534
  • Lammer, Prager, S, Lin, M., Cheney, M., Silva P, Burns SA, Aiello L, Sun, J. “ Association of Microaneurysms on Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy with Surrounding Neuroretinal Pathology and Visual Function in Diabetes”, 2018, Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci.. 2018;59(13):5633 -5640 https://doi org:/10.1167/iovs.18-24386PMID: 30481280 PMC6262647 
  • Burns, SA, Elsner, AE, Sapoznik, KR, Warner, RL, Gast, TJ, “Adaptive Optics Imaging of the Human Retina”, 2019; Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, Volume 68, January 2019, Pages 1-30 PMC6347528 PMID: 30165239 PMC6347528
  • Arthur, A, Elsner, AE, Sapoznik, KA, Papay, JA, Muller, M, Burns, SA. Distances from capillaries to arterioles or venules measured using OCT-A and AO-SLO Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci, 2019  Vol.60, 1833-1844. doi:10.1167/iovs.18-25294 PMID: 31042789. DOI: 10.1167/iovs.18-25294 
  •  Palochak CMA, Lee, HE, Song, J, Geng, A, Linsenmeier, RA, Burns, SA, Fawzi, AA. Retinal Blood Velocity and Flow in Early Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy Using Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy, Journal of Clinical Medicine 2019, 8(8), 1165; 

Video Examples

These are MP4 files of blood vessels with cells moving through them.  These are all human nonivasive imaging with near IR light.   The small moving items are red blood cells.  Feel free to use the videos, but please attribute them to our lab (the Progress in Retinal Research paper is fine since it summarizes the field as of 2018).   Burns, SA, Elsner, AE, Sapoznik, KR, Warner, RL, Gast, TJ, “Adaptive Optics Imaging of the Human Retina”, 2019; Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, Volume 68, January 2019, Pages 1-30 PMC6347528  

diabetes_stalled_flow (mp4)


NormalCapillaryFlow (mp4)


StalledCapillaryFlow (mp4)